With effect from 1 January 2016, all Sainsbury’s producers must, as a condition of their contracts, adhere to certain BVD control measures.
The measures include blood sampling of youngstock, bulk milk sampling and, crucially, tagging and testing all baby calves.
‘Tagging’ means that specified tags must be used when tagging a baby calf so that a notch from each calf’s ear is sent away for DNA testing. The farmer is informed within one week, whether or not the calf is persistently infected with BVD (PI).
For those farmers who have been unfortunate enough to find PIs in their herd, tagging and testing is the best way to identify and eliminate PI animals and therefore reduce and eventually prevent the passing of infection to pregnant animals.
TAGS can be purchased from a number of places: contact details for a few are shown below: