The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) adopted a rule to mitigate the risk of uninfected cattle being exposed to bovine viral diarrhea virus persistently infected (BVDV-PI) cattle. The rule was passed at the December commission meeting, and will go into effect February 2, 2020.
The newly adopted rule defines which cattle are classified as BVDV-PI, and requires the seller of a BVDV-PI animal to disclose the status in writing to the buyer prior to or at the time of sale.
The new rule also establishes a BVDV program review working group who will meet annually to evaluate and review the current rules. Bovine viral diarrhea is an economically impactful communicable disease of cattle that is endemic in most states. It is caused by BVDV, a Pestivirus, and can affect cattle of all ages.
The major reservoir responsible for the disease spreading geographically is the persistent infection syndrome (BVDV-PI) seen in calves.Persistent infection can occur in calves if a female is infected during the early stages of pregnancy. BVDV-PI animals shed the virus for life and expose pen mates and adjacent cattle to the virus. BVDV can result in impacts to stocker and feedlot operations by causing immunosuppression and contributing to Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex, or “Shipping Fever.” This can lead to reduced feed conversion and weight gain, increases in days on feed, morbidity, treatment cost, and mortality. In regards to cow/calf and dairy operations, all of these impacts may occur plus decreased conception rates, abortions, weak calves, and congenital defects.
The new rule will be published in the Texas Administrative Code under Title 4, Part 2, Chapter 44. Learn more about BVDV from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
For more on BVD and persistently infected cattle, see these articles from BovineVetOnline: