Political views aside, COVID has a major economic impact. We have all felt it personally. Today I want to compare this economic impact to how BVDv effects cattle operations.
We have seen how shutting down business/restaurants and unemployment impacts our economics, how fear controls markets and how staying at home keeps money from circulating our towns. This is similar to BVD.
BVD spreads rapidly through feeding operations. While veterinarians and scientists do not know the exact infection rate of BVD, we do know that it is very high in feeder operations due to the close quarter contact.
Lets look into the economics of BVD in a feeder operation. We will look at a 10,000 head yard, with 100 head pens at a BVD-PI prevalence rate of 0.4%. CST has tested over 10 million head of cattle over the past 15 years and to this day we still see a Prevalence Rate of 0.4%. We will look at a cost per exposed animal of $67, from a study conducted by Dr. Hessman, Dr. Sjeklocha, Dr. Fulton and Dr. Ridpath published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research.
When you crunch all of these numbers into a random generator, you will average a total of 68% of the pens exposed to BVDv. That is 6,800 animals exposed to BVDv. At a cost of $67 per animal exposed, that comes out to $455,600 lost to BVDv. Even at $10 per animal, it comes out to $68,000 lost due to BVDv. This loss is associated with higher cost of gain, lower daily gain, mortality and morbidity.
To test a 10,000 head yard would cost less than $30,000. Testing is the only way to locate BVD-PI animals, just as testing is the only way to locate COVID-19 infected humans.
Follow us as we explore what COVID and BVD have in common and how we can take what we have learned from COVID and apply it to our beef operations.