The opportunity to achieve BVD freedom by the end of 2023 is in sight if everyone plays their role.
That is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who is “satisfied” with the progress being made to eradicate the disease.
He said the incidence of BVD test positive animals decreased this year to just 0.03 % from an initial figure of 0.66 % in 2013.
The minister believes the programme is at a “crucial” point and Ireland is “close” to eradicating BVD from the herd.
“Excellent progress has been made over the past number of years. We have intensified our efforts to ensure success,” he said.
The DAFM provides a comprehensive package of supports to all impacted farms to:
- Lower the future disease risk within those farms;
- Reduce the risk to other herds.
McConalogue views this as an opportunity for Ireland’s cattle farmers to “further demonstrate their commitment, and to intensify efforts to achieve BVD-free status”.
Automatic herd restrictions and notification to neighbouring holdings will continue in 2022.
To ensure BVD infection is contained within the herd of disclosure, herd restrictions apply from one day following the date of the initial BVD positive or inconclusive test.
Among the package of supports available in 2022 is to support the early removal of BVD-test positive animals, as follows:
- €160 for removing female dairy and dairy cross-animals within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test result;
- €30 for removing female dairy and dairy-cross animals between day 11 and 21 of the first positive or inconclusive test result;
- €30 towards the disposal of dairy bull calves through the abattoir or knackery within 14 days of the first positive or inconclusive test result.
- €220 for removing animal within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test result;
- €30 for removing animal between days 11 and 21 of the first positive or inconclusive test result.
The DAFM outlined that it will not conduct confirmatory testing on ear notch positive animals under the 2022 programme.
Epidemiological investigation and free vaccines
Furthermore, McConalogue also confirmed that the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health investigations, comprising a fully funded mandatory herd epidemiological investigation after disclosure of a BVD test positive or inconclusive animal, will continue.
The DAFM will fund the full cost of:
- Whole herd testing for BVD;
- Vaccinating eligible females in each affected herd in 2022 and 2023 as part of this herd investigation.
Each herd’s nominated Private Veterinary Practitioner will undertake this.
He said the changes in 2021 and 2022 reflect the new EU Animal Health legislation’s requirements.
McConalogue said Ireland had to make these changes to achieve official recognition of the programme at EU level.
To meet the requirements, Ireland must achieve 18 months without disclosing a confirmed BVD persistently infected animal, with 99.8 % of cattle establishments BVD-free, accounting for 99.9 % of the bovine population.