The risk of Bovine Virus Diarrhoea spreading from North America to Finland through imported semen is diminutive.
Bovine virus diarrhoea, BVD, is a viral transmittable disease that mainly affects bovines. The BVD infection suppresses the disease resistance of the whole cattle and exposes it to other infections. The largest losses are due to interference in reproduction and lost calves. Animals continuously emitting the virus, i.e. the permanently infected, are the most important transmitters of BVD. Purposeful steps have been taken to limit the occurrence of BVD in Finland and internationally speaking, it is kept on a very low level. Due to the fact that the disease is commonly spread, except for the Nordic countries, e.g. in the North American region, import of living animals, semen and embryos from other countries than the Nordic, is considered to involve a noteworthy risk of spreading the disease.
The contaminated semen doses may result in a BVD infection in at least half of the animals exposed. In Finland the import of semen originating from North America may result, according to the estimation, in a permanently infected calf every 4-8 years. The estimated frequency of BVD transmission can not be considered insignificant.
You can load the report “Estimation of the risk of transmission of Bovine Virus Diarrhoea (BVD) in Finland trough semen imported from North America” from Evira’s homepage at the address www.evira.fi, Evira > Publications > Browse and order publications. The direct address of the publication is http://www.palvelu.fi/evi/files/55_519_484.pdf.
For more information, please contact:
Specialist in Veterinary Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Ulla Rikula, tel. 020 77 24585 (BVD)
Researcher, M.Sc, Kirsi-Maarit Siekkinen, tel. 020 77 24030 (Risk assessment)