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Mind the Gap BVD control tool

11th May 2019

The Mind the Gap BVD control tool and online app has been re-launched with added flexibility to clearly show whether any cattle in a herd are not fully protected by the BVD vaccine being administered.


The transmission of BVDV (bovine viral diarrhoea virus) is complex and protecting the foetus from the virus is at the heart of any control programme. The virus is passed from dam to foetus and, if this occurs in the first third of pregnancy, a persistently infected (PI) calf may be born. These will then go on to shed virus throughout their lives, so infecting herdmates and the next generation of calves.


“The timing of when a vaccine is given is critical to the development of an immune response, which will protect the unborn calf,” explains vet Matt Yarnall who helped develop the online tool.


The tool works by inputting which month heifer breeding is to take place, along with BVD vaccination timing. This then calculates calving date and when the heifer will enter the main herd. It cleverly distinguishes between heifers which need a primary course and adult cows needing a booster, and whether animals lapse from the vaccination programme and need to start the course again.


Each BVD vaccine has its own timing protocol stating when the primary course should be given, as well as subsequent booster timing and when cows should be served. Some of these are not straightforward to follow, especially for year-round calving herds.

“Anyone using the Bovela® vaccine has peace of mind that the one dose primary course combined with flexible booster regime and 12 months’ protection minimises the immunity gap,” concludes Mr Yarnall. “This has undoubtedly helped Bovela® to become the UK’s market leading vaccine in less than four years since launch, with over 2 million cattle protected in the UK and Ireland alone1.”

The immunity gap calendar is available as an app or online at

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