To this end, the Federal Department of Agriculture introduced a second order amending the BVDV Act, which was approved by the Federal Council on June 17 with an editorial change.
The main goal is to quickly identify livestock that are still present and constantly infected with the virus.
According to the ministry, a total of about 24,000 of these animals were discovered in about 7,800 farms in 2011; Last year there were only 1,718 head of livestock on 566 farms. The prevalence decreased, based on newborn calves, from 0.5% to 0.03% during this period. In order to more quickly recognize animals infected with BVDV, according to an amendment to the law, the maximum age for testing calves was reduced from six to one month. On the one hand, this takes into account improved diagnoses, but on the other hand, it also takes into account the fact that examinations with the ear punch test usually take place within the first seven days of life, the ministry explained.
The risk of persistent hepatitis C virus infection infecting other livestock in the herd must be reduced by reducing the period between examination of the herd from 60 to 40 days. Continuously infected animals must be killed immediately or slaughtered within seven days. The new rule is that livestock cannot be transferred from a herd infected with BVDV for 40 days, and pregnant cattle may only be transferred after they are born. Transportation of non-pregnant animals should only be permitted if delivered directly to the slaughterhouse or persistent infection can be ruled out with additional examination after 40 days. Pregnant livestock may only be transported if the animal has been vaccinated or if it has tested negative after 150 days of pregnancy. Finally, the period in which certain rules applied to a harmless herd of BVDV was extended from twelve months to 24 months, as it was established that animals permanently infected with BVDV were detected in a shorter period.
More information as well as current statistics and figures on the prevalence of PI animals can be found at the Friedrich Löffler Institute at: www.fli.de.
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