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BVD Eradication Case Study - Fife Dairy

Farmers Details

“It’s worth the time invested, to see virtually no calf mortality and better resistance to other diseases."

  • Names Bob & Bettey Mitchell, and Margo Webster
  • Location Fife
  • Herd 450 Dairy, closed herd
BVD Eradication Story

Bob eradicated BVD, and saw his calf mortality drop from 12-14% to 0% in the first year, and 1% the year after.

Bob said:

“We weren’t aware of BVD, until someone explained how a PI was created. After blood testing the whole herd, seven PIs were found and removed. Only one of the PIs was way behind growth. The other six PIs looked fine. Three of them were my best calves in the bunch”.


Bob stressed the importance of testing, as you cannot tell which animals are PIs.

“It’s worth the time invested, to see virtually no calf mortality and better resistance to other diseases. We now use 75% less antibiotics for calves.”

To ensure BVD stays out, Bob does annual; blood tests for female young stock, a bulk milk test, and vaccinates everything. This regime has kept BVD out since eradication two years ago.

Bob advises “make sure you stick to your BVD vaccination programme”.

Benefits of BVD eradication
  • Calf mortality dropped from 12-14% to 0-1%
  • 75% fewer antibiotics needed
  • Better resistance to diseases


Biosecurity measures taken to eradicate BVD
  • Herd antibody test
  • Individual virus testing
  • Operate closed herd
  • PI culling
  • Vaccination
  • Fence maintenance


Annual Costs to eradicate BVD
Measures to eradicate BVD Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 onwards
Blood tests and vet fees (per herd) £962.88    
Ear tag & test (per animal)   £9.60 £9.60
Lab fees £835    
Number of blood tests (per herd) 201 130 10
Total cost of blood tests (per herd) £1798 £1,248  
Vaccine per beast £2.92 £2.92 £2.92
Number of vaccines 600 520 520
Total vaccine cost (per herd) £1,752 £1,518 £1,518
Loss in value of cull cow £450    
Total removing seven PIs £3,150    
Bulk milk test £45 £30 £30
Farmers time £500 £500 £500
Cost for eradicating BVD (per animal) £16.10 £7.33 £4.76

Total cost for eradicating BVD (per herd)

*450 cattle

£7,245* £3,269* £2,144*