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Bovine Leukosis Virus (BLV)
- BLV is caused by the bovine leukemia virus. It is mainly in the white blood cells and causes inflammation and dysfunction in lymph nodes throughout the body.
- 88.5% of dairy herds and 38.7% of beef herds are infected with the virus.*
- Once an animal is infected they are lifetime carriers and shedders. The virus is spread through animal to animal contact via blood, milk/colostrum and in-utero from dam to offspring.
- Weight loss, decreased milk production and downer cows are signs and symptoms of the virus. Most symptoms appear between 3-6 years of age.
- There is no treatment or cure for BLV. Animals affected get progressively worse and are culled or die.
HOW DOES BLV AFFECT MY HERD?
- Decreased value of cull cows. Leukosis tumors are the number one cause of
condemnation at slaughter facilities.
- Cow longevity
- Milk production decreases as BLV herd prevalence increases
- Inability to sell breeding stock. Many countries that have chosen to eradicate the disease have placed import restrictions on U.S. cattle.
BLV INFECTION RATES
- 88.5%: Dairy herds
- 38.7%: Beef herds*
* USDA National Animal Health Monitoring Survey 1996