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Novel BVD vaccine, Bovela, used to protect over 500,000 cattle

In the 18 months since it was launched on the UK market, BVD vaccine Bovela® from Boehringer Ingelheim has been used to protect over 500,000 cattle across the country from the devastating effects of the disease.

And with BVD once again high on the agenda following the launch of England’s voluntary BVD eradication scheme, Wales soon to launch its own scheme, and the Scottish scheme making excellent progress, the company expects uptake of the vaccine to continue at a similarly high rate in the coming months.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Robert Bakewell says the strong sales achieved by Bovela were testament to the vaccine’s ease of use and efficacy against both type 1 and type 2 BVD.

“There is no doubt that the vaccine has found itself a firm favourite with farmers and vets in a relatively short space of time. As a single-shot vaccine which can be used in cattle from three months old onwards, Bovela is unique in the market. Other current vaccines require a two-dose primary course with annual boosters, or in some cases six-monthly boosters,” says Mr Bakewell.

“These factors, and the fact that Bovela brings innovation and a new level of immunity in the form of a live double-deleted vaccine, make Bovela a dramatically different product to other vaccines on the market,” explains Mr Bakewell.

“In other European countries, whilst BVD eradication schemes have done well to reduce the prevalence of the disease, eliminating the tail of residual infection is key to successfully becoming free of the disease. Bovela can be used alongside these schemes to ensure once a herd is free of BVD they keep infection out”, says Mr Bakewell. “Additionally, while BVD type 1 is the most commonly found strain of the virus, BVD type 2 has caused issues in some countries with and without eradication schemes such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Spain, with the added issue that the old vaccines only provide foetal protection against type 1”.

BVD type 2 can be a more aggressive strain of the virus, causing high numbers of deaths and wreaking havoc in herds where it diagnosed. However, it is often as hard to spot as BVD type 1. Bovela is the only UK licensed vaccine to provide proven protection against both type 1 and type 2 BVD.

“Tackling BVD requires farmers to have a full understanding of the disease and their herd’s BVD status. Farmers already controlling BVD but considering joining the national eradication schemes should contact their vet initially. Using Bovela alongside removal of PIs can be a valuable tool in local and national eradication schemes,” adds Mr Bakewell.

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