Vet, Magda Sioukiouroglou, from Prostock Vets in Carmarthen, South Wales, recently took first prize and a share in a 15,000 euros prize fund at the BVDZero Awards – an international competition open to anyone working within the cattle industry submitting a case involving Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD). The award seeks to raise awareness of BVD and its control.
Magda’s winning submission, entitled ‘The Hidden Risks of the Show Ring’, focused on a closed dairy farm with BVD-free status. The farm is also a member of the national BVD eradication scheme backed by the Welsh government, ‘Gwaredu BVD’. Under the scheme, young stock from each management group are screened for BVD antibodies annually, at the same time as routine TB testing. A positive result would usually suggest contact with a persistently infected animal in the herd.
After an unexpected positive result was obtained, the farm became eligible for funding to identify possible persistently infected animals. However, all adult animals were negative. Using the British Cattle Movement Service, Magda was able to identify that the positive animal had been to cattle shows, where it is likely to have become infected.
Magda says her work underlines the importance of a robust herd health plan, “Biosecurity is a big concern and it’s important that measures are put in place to protect herd health. We recommended that the farmer vaccinates any animals he wants to take to shows in the future and to keep them in quarantine for at least four weeks before introducing them back to the herd. Additionally, we will keep monitoring for BVD annually by screening youngstock and bulk milk samples for BVD virus and tag and test calves.”
“We are really delighted with the recognition of Magda’s work. It is a great example of one of the many ongoing BVD projects that members of the XLVet community are undertaking across the country with the theme of ‘Make your farm your fortress’”, said Alice Renner who leads the project. “By working together as a collaborative community of independent veterinary practices, XLVet members are able to share insights with their colleagues and use their knowledge and experiences to the benefits of all their clients.”
Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer, Welsh Government, congratulated Magda, “I am very pleased that the Gwaredu BVD scheme was used to facilitate your veterinary investigation. The health impacts for our national herd, and the financial implications for our industry in Wales as a consequence of BVD can be devastating, and I am proud of the partnership work between Industry and Government that the Gwaredu BVD scheme provides for. The eradication of BVD across Wales is an achievable goal, thanks to our veterinary practices and practitioners such as yourself, engaging with the scheme and delivering it to farmers in order to improve cattle health across Wales”.
CLICK HERE to read Magda’s winning submission