Michigan State University and Pfizer Animal Health partner to eradicate BVD

Feb 13, 2009
by WLJ

While bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) continues to cost the cattle industry more than $50 million a year, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Extension, Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health and Pfizer Animal Health are partnering to design a BVD eradication program for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “BVD significantly impacts cattle health, welfare and economic productivity across all segments of the industry,” said Dan Grooms, DVM, Ph.D., Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“With Pfizer Animal Health’s technical support and funding, we are developing a five-year voluntary producer program that identifies, prevents and, hopefully, will eliminate BVD in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

Throughout the program, researchers will also record the health of the animals and herds, their reproductive efficiency, and the marketability of BVD-free cattle to demonstrate the increased value of these animals to potential buyers, as well as provide the industry with replicable management strategies. These management strategies will provide successful disease prevention protocols that can be implemented on operations to help protect against BVD. According to Victor Cortese, DVM, Ph.D., DABVP, director of specialty veterinary operations for Pfizer Animal Health and one of the program’s coordinators, “Michigan’s Upper Peninsula possesses specific characteristics, such as geographic isolation, natural barriers for cattle movement and cattle flowing principally out of the region, that make it ideal for studying BVD eradication.”

Dale Grotelueschen, DVM, managing veterinarian for Pfizer Animal Health and another of the program’s coordinators, added that the outstanding personnel at Michigan State University have already successfully begun working with area producers who have been quick to become involved and recognize the benefits of eliminating BVD for their cattle and the entire industry.

Throughout the program, producer outreach, education and industry involvement will play an important role in successful eradication. Program coordinators will continue to update the industry on findings. — WLJ