The success of the BVD programme is due to the “continuous hard work and determination of the farmers” in working with the DAFM towards “gaining BVD freedom”.
That is according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who has announced additional financial support to farmers to help support Bovine Viral Diarrhoea tag testing for the year ahead.
Farmers’ efforts over the last ten years has resulted in the incidence of BVD-positive animals decreasing from 0.66% in 2013, the first year of the compulsory phase of the eradication programme, to 0.03% this year.
According to the DAFM, Ireland has not recorded a confirmed BVD positive since May 2021.
The minister stated that the reduction in BVD prevalence has delivered “benefits to all cattle herds”.
He outlined that this includes better animal health and improved fertility, which, in turn, has helped to reduce antimicrobial usage and contributes to a more sustainable livestock sector.
However, McConalogue did stress that it is “vital” that everyone continues to “play their part to achieve BVD freedom”.
The minister commented: “I am delighted to announce additional funding of €2.25 million to support the continuation of BVD tag testing for 2023.”
“This will target breeding herds and, in, particular smaller breeding herds where the relative costs are the greatest.’’
The support provided will be by way of a payment of €2 per calf, will be made directly to farmers based on calves registered, up to a maximum of 25 calves per herd.
How to reduce the risk of BVD:
AHI (Animal Health Ireland) has produced a series of leaflets to inform farmers about how to reduce the risk of BVD:
- Buy low-risk animals from Negative Herd Status (NHS) herds;
- Quarantine animals on arrival;
- Minimise contact of bought-in cattle with other animals, particularly animals in the
- first trimester of pregnancy;
- Isolate purchased pregnant animals until calved and the calf tested with negative
- Step up biosecurity during the breeding season. This is a key period where
- infections can lead to the birth of PIs;
- Keep boundaries in good condition to prevent contact with neighbouring animals;
- Supply cleaning and disinfection for farm personnel and visitors;
- Apply cleaning and disinfection of shared equipment;
- The decision to vaccinate or not depends on the risk profile of the herd, a document from AHI states. Always seek your vet’s advice for your farm.
Previous article on the ins and outs of new BVD rules: What you need to know