For many years, research on bovine papillomavirus (BPV) has contributed to the understanding of papillomavirus-induced pathology in humans and animals. The present review shows how recent studies on BPV keep providing evidence concerning key points in viral infection, such as the expression of viral proteins in lymphocytes and the occurrence of productive infections of the placenta. Studies on BPV-induced tumours also provide important information concerning the mechanisms of oncogenesis and immune evasion, as in the cases of connexin 43 down-regulation with loss of intercellular gap junctions and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) down-regulation in equine sarcoids. The biological functions of viral proteins are also being further clarified, as in the case of E2, which was recently shown to load BPV genomes into host chromosomes during the S phase, a process mediated by the ChlR1 protein. In the near future, the ongoing efforts to characterize and classify additional emerging BPV types are likely to broaden even further the possibilities for research.