“Just go for it and take advantage of what is on offer. You won’t regret it.”

14th Apr 2022 By Jess Magness

Sunny Hill Farm is an organic 300-acre dairy farm in the heart of Pembrokeshire with a closed herd of 115 cows. They farm pedigree Holstein Friesian plus followers and beef. They set up a milk vending machine on the farm in August 2021 which included adding a pasteurising unit

 

Mr & Mrs Peters are helped by their daughter Annie who is currently a student at Gelli Aur College. She spends every spare minute she’s not in college or studying helping on the farm with managing the herd and processing the milk and also dealing with all of the social media marketing. 

 

We caught up with the family to discuss all things BVD, including testing, and taking advantage of free support.

 

Have you had any problems with BVD?

No, we haven’t had any BVD problems in recent years. We vaccinate all our cows and heifers annually and having a closed herd means we don’t buy in problems.

 

Tell us about your experience of using the Gwaredu BVD scheme to screen.

We blood sample 5 yearling heifers that haven’t had the BVD vaccination when we test for TB. It’s very easy to test, as it’s just another blood sample taken when the animal is in the cattle crush, whilst being tested for TB.

 

You are now at Silver status – will you be screening again soon?

Yes, we will be testing for BVD during our next TB test.

 

How important is it that farmers screen their herd for BVD?

It’s very important to know your BVD status and ensure there are no PIs (Persistently Infected Animals) as a PI animal will spread BVD to other animals in the herd.

 

How important is it that farmers share their BVD status when selling?

As we are a closed herd, we don’t buy animals in. However, if we were buying stock, we would definitely ask for their BVD status before we purchased. It’s always safer to check before you buy.

 

Would you recommend that people take advantage of the scheme before it comes to an end on 31 December 2022?

Yes, we would definitely recommend taking advantage of the scheme before it comes to an end.  There is nothing to be lost. Just go for it and take advantage of what is on offer. You won’t regret it.

Over 80% of Welsh Cattle farmers have already participated in the Gwaredu BVD voluntary programme. Still one of the remaining farmers left to screen? Contact Gwaredu BVD or your vet to take advantage of free Youngstock Screening and PI Hunt funding before it comes to an end on 31 December 2022.