many activities that come from my office are regulatory in nature, we
actively engage any issue that could impact livestock production in
Alabama. For example, about a year ago I was approached by the director
of ALFA’s Beef committee Perry Mobley. He had the concept of
developing a state Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) program. After several
meetings and the hiring of the Cooperative Extension Veterinarian Dr.
Soren Rodning, we have now established the Alabama BVD Working Group.
The Working Group has developed the Alabama Voluntary BVD Control
Program. Highlighted in this month’s article is an outline of this
program and was written by Dr. Rodning.
Voluntary BVDV Control Program
Alabama cattle industry experiences substantial animal health issues and
economic losses due to the effects of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV),
the causative agent of Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD). BVDV is an important
cause of reproductive disease as well as "shipping fever"
(bovine respiratory disease). However, cattle that are born persistently
infected with BVDV are the primary source of infection, and effective
testing procedures are now available to identify those infected
carriers. Therefore, several state and national organizations worked
together to develop an Alabama Voluntary BVD Control Program to control
and/or eradicate BVD from Alabama cattle herds. This month I would like
to briefly introduce the program and announce that the
Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory in Auburn is now
offering BVDV testing.
Alabama Voluntary BVD Control Program was developed in cooperation with
the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association, Alabama Cattlemen’s
Association (ACA), Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama
Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Farmers Federation
(ALFA), Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, Auburn University
College of Agriculture, Auburn University College of Veterinary
Medicine, National Animal Disease Center, and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary
Services. The objective of the program is to provide a cost effective
method for controlling BVDV in Alabama cattle operations. The
program consists of four basic components: education, management, herd
testing, and herd classification.
new Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory in Auburn will
perform all diagnostic procedures associated with the program. The
official diagnostic test is an antigen capture ELISA on individual ear
notch samples. The cost of the test is only $3.00/sample for Alabama
cattle. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is
financially subsidizing a portion of the diagnostic costs to provide
BVDV testing at a competitive price. The ACA and ALFA are also
financially supporting other parts of the program.
most important goal of the testing component of the program is to
provide accurate results; the second goal is to provide timely service
to meet the needs of different segments of the Alabama cattle industry.
Our initial goal is to perform all diagnostic tests within 5 business
days of arrival at the laboratory. Results will then be faxed or mailed,
depending on your preference.
be patient, this program is a work in progress, and we are very excited
to provide this important service to the Alabama cattle industry. Help
make the program a success by participating and providing me with
constructive feedback as we move forward. The program is designed to
benefit every cattle producer in Alabama, so help spread the word.
begin testing your herd for BVDV either you or your veterinarian should
call me (334-844-7502) or the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic
Laboratory (334-844-4987) to request a BVDV Test Kit. To request a test
kit, please have the following information available:
Name, address, email, telephone number, and fax number for you and your
Your premises identification number.
The number of animals you plan on testing.
BVDV Test Kit will then be mailed to you in an insulated box and contain
the following items: submission forms, detailed sample collection and
submission instructions, individual tubes for samples, ear notchers for
$8.00 (if needed), ice packs, and a pre-addressed return label. You and
your veterinarian will collect, identify, handle, and package the
samples as directed, and then ship the samples overnight (USPS, UPS, Fed
Ex) to the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory using the
same insulated box and the pre-addressed label. Please contact us 2
weeks prior to your anticipated test date to allow time for delivery of
your BVDV Test Kit.
will be conducting a series of meetings around the state related to BVD
and the Alabama Voluntary BVD Control Program. Contact your animal
science regional extension agent for more information regarding
these meetings. Let’s work together and set the standard for BVDV
control, and in the process improve the health and reputation of Alabama