For several decades after the first description of bovine viral diarrhea and its causative agent (BVDV) the economic impact of the infection was underestimated and in addition there were no suitable diagnostics and procedures for a systematic control at hand. Today, there are several estimates on the real economic impact of the infection and during the last 15 years the serological and virological laboratory diagnosis of BVDV infections has improved. Also, successful procedures aimed at eradicating BVDV infections by using a strict test and removal policy for animals persistently infected (PI) with BVDV accompanied by movement restrictions for infected herds have been implemented in the Scandinavian countries. The success of these efforts has encouraged other European countries to follow the same procedures. However, the Scandinavian control strategy might—for a number of reasons—not be acceptable for all European countries. In such cases, the test and removal strategy, with its fundamental elements of biosecurity, removal of PI animals and monitoring of herd status, in combination with systematic vaccination, might be an acceptable compromise. The impact of the BVDV-free status of regions and nations on international trade is not yet clear. In any case, biosecurity measures will be of utmost importance for individual control programs as well as multiple control programs to co-exist in Europe.
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