BVD testing compulsory soon

Testing all calves born from Jan 1, 2013, for BVD will be compulsory.

Nearly 10,000 farmers participated in voluntary testing of more than 450,000 calves in 2012, revealing a 0.62% BVD virus positive rate.

Farmers are urged to attend a nationwide series of information nights to learn about the compulsory programme.

Animal Health Ireland chairman Mike Magan said, “The success of the voluntary programme in Ireland this year and the example of successful programmes in other countries has shown that eradication of the disease in a relatively short timeframe is achievable. For the vast majority of farmers there will be three years of tissue tagging followed by three years of less intensive monitoring.”

Farmers in the 2012 voluntary phase have almost completed the first of the three initial years of the compulsory programme.

Losses due to BVD are estimated at €100m each year.

BVD Implementation group chairman Joe O’Flaherty said, “The key features of the legislation are that calves born after Jan 1, 2013, will require to be tested, and that there will be a ban on the sale of calves without a negative result”.

The aim is to ensure persistently infected animals will not be sold in the marketplace.

In 2013, tissue sample-enabled official tags will be used, allowing the required samples to be taken as part of the official tagging process, and minimising the need for applying a third tag.

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