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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Investigation, blood sampling & vaccines for herds with BVD positive/inconclusive result

The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM), has a strict vet-led protocol for herds where a BVD-positive or inconclusive result(s) has been detected.

As a first course of action, herdowners must isolate and remove all animals with an initial positive or inconclusive test ear-notch result, in which case, confirmatory re-testing of these animals is no longer committed.

Farmers must remove these animals “promptly” to obtain higher financial support from the DAFM.

Beef herds will receive €220 for animals removed with a registered date of death on AIMS within 10 days of the initial test, and this will reduce to €30 if removed between 11 and 21 days after the initial test.

Meanwhile, dairy farmers with dairy heifers and dairy-cross animals will receive €160 if removed within 10 days of the initial test, and this drops to €30 if removed between 11 and 21 days after the initial test.

The DAFM will issue a payment of €30 for the removal of bull calves within a fortnight of the initial test.

Herdowners must clean and disinfect buildings and handling facilities which may have been contaminated “as soon as practicable” but in advance of the next breeding season.

BVD herd investigations under TASAH

According to Animal Health Ireland, the lifting of restrictions requires the completion of each of the following three measures, which are fully funded by the DAFM.

They will be conducted by a nominated trained private veterinary practitioner (BVD TASAH – Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health – trained) at least 3 weeks after the removal of the animal(s) with positive or inconclusive results.

The BVD helpdesk will contact herd owners to nominate the trained veterinary practitioner they wish to conduct their investigation – a list can be found on Animal Health Ireland’s website.

Measures as follows:

  • Whole herd test – Blood sampling and testing of all animals in the herd;
  • Epidemiological investigation – Conducted under the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) under the Rural Development Programme;
  • Vaccination of all female animals aged 12-months-old and above by the nominated PVP.

Continued herd measures:

Following the lifting of restrictions, herds are required to:

  • Continue to tissue tag test for a minimum of 24 months after the removal of the last animal with positive or inconclusive results;
  • Continue the vaccination programme in the herd in the following year, with this again delivered by the veterinary practitioner and funded by DAFM;
  • Not sell any potential trojan female, i.e. that was in-calf at the time of birth of the animals with positive or inconclusive results until its calf has been born and tested for BVD.

The DAFM will only lift the herd restriction when the virus-positive animals are removed, and the investigation, blood sampling and vaccinations are completed.

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