The Devon Cattle Breeders Society encourages sound practises to maintain a healthy national herd, provide market confidence in Devon breeding stock and strengthen performance at farm level.
An increasing number of Devon herds are embracing high health status, progressing in-herd disease screening up a level by joining an approved Health Scheme.
Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHeCS) is the regulatory body that governs Cattle Health Schemes in the UK, where the licensed schemes can be found along with detailed disease information. Accreditation programmes are available for TB, BVD, IBR, Johne’s Disease, Leptospirosis, and Neospora.
Society sales are split into health sections, being:
Section 1 for cattle of confirmed health status
Section 2 other cattle
Results of any health screening is always disclosed when cattle are sold through DCBS sales.
Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB)
DCBS TB requirements for entry into any part of a Society sale is, irrespective of the vendor’s statutory testing requirements, all animals are to have been TB tested within 60 days of the sale.
Beyond mandatory controls, individual farms are encouraged to take a proactive approach to protecting cattle from a breakdown. Implementing preventative measures based on farm-specific circumstances is recognised to improve biosecurity. The UK farmer go-to resource is TB hub, which has a link to ibTB – the interactive map for researching disease incidence.
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)
For entry into Section 1 of DCBS sales, all cattle over the age of 9 months (on the day of the sale) must be BVD antigen tested negative and vaccinated post-testing (course of vaccination completed 1 month before the sale date). Members of a CHeCS accredited Health Scheme, where the whole herd has been accredited BVD free (or are working their way up through the levels), are required to supply a current certificate to this effect with confirmation of at least 12 months membership, as well as meeting the above vaccinating criteria. A veterinary certificate confirming dates of vaccination is also required – in all cases.
Other cattle may be entered into Section 2 of DCBS sales.
BVD Free England is the initiative that was launched in 2016 to eliminate BVD in England by 2022, which has a herd/holding checker and is a good source of BVD information.
Society sale catalogues will only state a herd’s accredited Johne’s risk level, as confirmed by a CHeCS Health Scheme; not the status of an individual animal (whether tested or otherwise).
Stock offered at DCBS sales are inspected on arrival, with a vet in attendance.
Should entered stock develop any topical conditions (e.g. warts or ringworm) prior to sale day, they are not permitted to be forward on sale day.