Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an economically significant disease affecting the Australian cattle industry, with losses stemming from decreased production and reproductive performance and control costs. However, these losses can be difficult to appreciate, particularly in endemic regions. Overall, there is a variable but high herd-level seroprevalence in Australia. Despite a potentially high financial burden of the disease, the onus for control ultimately falls on producers and strategies employed will vary between regions. A cross-sectional study, using a postal survey, was conducted in 2013 to evaluate the BVDV knowledge, attitudes and management practices utilised by Australian cattle producers. A total of 192 producers participated in the study, and results indicate that knowledge and attitudes towards disease risk are variable and can be improved. Producer knowledge of how persistently infected (PI) animals are produced was higher than that of disease outcomes or transmission pathways. Implementation of biosecurity practices was limited, with approximately half of respondents employing quarantine procedures for introduced stock and only 2% indicating they would antigen test introduced stock for BVDV. Approximately a third (36%) of producers reported engaging in BVDV control, with the majority of these using vaccination strategies over deliberate exposure to a PI. Knowledge of and engagement with BVDV control was positively influenced by the producer relationships with veterinarians. Findings from this study suggest that building on education and delivering a consistent message among stakeholders would likely improve producer awareness and understanding in relation to BVDV and support decision making in BVDV management.
- bovine viral diarrhoea virus