The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T. D., today outlined his support for a pathway to Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) freedom by 2023 and the continued supports from his Department for the BVD Eradication Programme.
The Minister expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing progress being made in the eradication of BVD.
Also, the Minister noted that substantial savings are being achieved by farmers, with the incidence of BVD positive animals decreasing this year to just 0.03 % from 0.66 % in 2013 – the first year of the compulsory phase of the Eradication Programme.
The Minister said:
“The programme is at a decisive point; the opportunity to achieve BVD freedom is in reach. It is vital that everyone plays their part to finish it out.”
“Excellent progress has been made over the past years, and we must intensify our efforts to ensure success. My Department has committed to an enhanced programme agreed by the BVD Implementation Group; and pledges substantial supports for the next two-year period.”
“I commend farmers’ ongoing commitment to the BVD eradication programme and urge everyone to make one final push to reach BVD-free herd.”
“The Department of Agriculture will provide increased supports for affected herds to ensure that the risk of future disease breakdown is lowered and the risk to other herds is reduced.”
“This is an opportunity for Ireland’s cattle farmers to further demonstrate their commitment, and to intensify efforts to achieve BVD freedom for the national herd.”
Supports for early removal of BVD test positive animals
The supports available in 2021 in respect of early removal of BVD test positive animals will be as follows:
- €160 if the female dairy and dairy cross animals are removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test result.
- €30 if the female dairy and dairy cross animals are removed 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 if the animal is removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
- €30 if the animal is removed between day 11 and 21of the first positive or inconclusive test.
Automatic herd restrictions and notification to neighbouring holdings will continue in 2021.
These are designed to encourage prompt removal of PI calves. To ensure BVD infection is contained within the herd of disclosure, herd restrictions will apply from 1 day following the date of the initial BVD positive or inconclusive test.
Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) investigations
The Minister also confirmed that the TASAH, a mandatory herd epidemiological investigation, after disclosure of a BVD positive or inconclusive animal will continue.
The Department will fund a whole herd test as part of an epidemiological investigation in 2021. All eligible females are to be vaccinated against BVD in 2021 and 2022 by each farmer’s nominated PVP.
The Minister confirmed that the work of the BVD Implementation Group is continuing to consider the additional measures needed to bring the Eradication Programme to as speedy a conclusion as possible.
The changes taken for 2021 reflect the requirements of the new EU Animal Health Legislation in April 2021 and the required changes needed to achieve official recognition of the programme at EU level.
Finally, the Minister took the opportunity to thank Animal Health Ireland and the industry’s BVD Implementation Group for their valuable work in the course of 2020.