£5.7 Million DEFRA Funding for BVD Control Announced

Those of you ( both dairy and beef) that have been labouring over your updated red tractor health plans will no doubt have seen mention of the BVD Free England and Action Johnes Initiatives in the updated vet performance review section. Whilst membership of these schemes is not yet compulsory across all milk processors that is clearly the direction in which the industry is heading, so this DEFRA BVD funding is as timely as it is generous. The project is co ordinated by the Scottish Agricultural College and the way that it will work is as follows;

  1. Introductory Meeting. We will run one for beef and one for dairy, timing tbc but probably August / September. This meeting will give an outline of the disease, the resulting costs both nationally and at farm level, and provide more details of the scheme.
  2. Farm Visit 1. Those clients that do sign up will then receive a 100% funded one to one on farm meeting with one of the practice vets. We will assess the specific risks of BVD on your farm and perform a check test to assess disease status. The laboratory fees for this check test will be covered by the scheme funding.
  3. Farm Visit 2. The vet will return, again 100% funded, to discuss the results of the check test and help you to formulate an action plan, which will involve elements of biosecurity, vaccination, ongoing surveillance and PI (BVD carrier) hunting should the lab results indicate active infection.
  4. Final Meeting. Once all the delegate farmers have completed their vet farm visits and testing we will bring you together for another meeting to discuss the project and summarise our findings.

So, in essence the funding covers all veterinary costs and all of the check test fees bar any time taken to harvest the samples. Should you find PI’s in your herd the scheme will also contribute up to £440 towards the lab fees required to track them down. The project is forecast to run for the next 2.5 years but as the funding is so generous it is expected that uptake will be very popular. Practices across the country have therefore been asked to try to forecast what level of uptake they will have from their clients so that the necessary funds can be reserved. Clearly we want to be at the front of the queue. We would therefore ask those that have an interest, or would like to find out more to contact the practice. Even if your farm already vaccinates with with Bovilis BVD or Bovela the project will still be very useful as a source of information, a double check for PI’s and an easy tick on the red tractor plan next year.

We will look to hold the introductory meeting towards the end of the summer, it will be either at lunchtime or in the evening with plenty of refreshments provided. If you are keen to take part please ring Wellington on 01823 662286 and speak with Hazel / Julie / Ali asap so we can put your name on the list and reserve the funding.

Mount Vets Beef and Sheep Group

In late August, we will be holding a meeting to launch our new Beef & Sheep Group for commercial producers and professional pedigree breeders. This initial meeting will be to introduce what we propose to do with the group and, more importantly, find out what services you would like to see included.

The venue and the evening date will be confirmed in the August newsletter and the launch meeting will be sponsored by one of the medicines companies. If you’re interested in attending, please give us a call at the practice. If you would like any more information then please contact Young Al or Young Charlie.

Alabama Rot in Dogs – An Update


slightly outside the remit of a farm vets newsletter we thought that an update on this disease might be of interest. Alabama Rot has received a lot of attention in the local and national press and there have been a few cases in the local area.

Alabama Dog Rot is a disease that causes damage to a dog’s blood vessels and kidneys. It was first identified amongst greyhounds in the state of Alabama in the 1980s. After this initial flair up the number of reported cases dwindled and as no clinical research was carried out, the disease was almost relegated to history. Because no one has been able to determine what causes the disease, it is now only recognisable by its collection of clinical symptoms. Since the disease was first detected in the UK in 2012 the number of cases of Alabama dog rot in dogs has risen. The most serious outbreak was in the New Forest region of Hampshire but there have also been reported cases in several other counties, with the most recent cases reported in Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Devon, Dorset, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Greater Manchester and Worcestershire. Cases have been reported from the practice area and we have treated a suspicious case in our pet hospital. Nationally there were 19 cases in 2016, 40 in 2017 and so far 30 in 2018.

The first sign of Alabama Rot is skin sores that have not been caused by a physical injury. These sores can present as lesions, swelling, a patch of red skin, or may be open and ulcer-like. The sores are most commonly found below the knee or elbow or occasionally on the stomach or face. Usually, this will cause localised hair loss and the dog will begin licking the wound. These lesions will be followed between two and seven days later with outward symptoms of kidney failure including reduced appetite, fatigue, and vomiting. Survival rates are unfortunately low (20-30%), with the best outcomes resulting from early diagnosis and treatment. It is important, however, not to get overly worried and keep things in perspective as the percentage of dogs in the UK that have contracted this disease is very low.

The source of the disease is unproven, but is thought to be something in the environment that produces toxins similar to those produced by some E Coli bacteria. Most cases seem to occur in the winter so pet owners have been advised to wash their dogs off after muddy walks.

A Couple of Requests from the Office Team..

1 If you would like to collect medicines from the office please give us a quick ring first so we can make sure that we have what you need and we can get it ready for you to pick up without any delays.

2 If you are booking work please be as accurate as you can about what you would like the vet to do! We will always try to cover an extra 10 PD’s or 15 pre movements but if we aren’t warned it can make the vet very late for the next call.

And Finally….Its Nearly Showtime!

Mid Devon = Saturday 28th July

Honiton Show = Thursday 2 August

The usual Mount Vets mix of low calorie pasties / sausage rolls, home made cakes, beer, cider, soft drinks, tea coffee, ice lollies and sophisticated conversation! Please do come along and join us in the usual place.