Observations on BVD virus infection in New Zealand beef herds

Observations on BVD virus infection in New Zealand beef herds
Peer reviewed


Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus has a worldwide distribution and investigations in various parts of the world have shown that 60%-80% of cattle have neutralising antibodies to the virus. Bovine viral diarrhoea virus infection is also common in New Zealand dairy herds, and its epidemiology on dairy farms is well understood. It had been considered that the traditional beef cattle population was essentially free from this infection and there was a concern that the rapidly expanding dairy-beef industry may introduce infection into an essentially naive beef cattle population. However, a recent study has shown that BVD virus infection is widespread in beef herds throughout New Zealand. To explore the issue further, we have examined the prevalence of BVD virus antibodypositive animals in selected dairy-beef operations and traditional cow-calf herds, and how BVD-virus infection, if present, is maintained within these cattle populations. In July 1993, three dairy-beef units (Farms 1-3) and three cow-calf units (Farms 4-6) were selected from the clients` file of the sheep and beef cattle practice at Massey University…

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