Improved supports announced for BVD eradication programme

Farmers faced with the removal from their herds of calves persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhoea are to benefit from refocused and improved supports.

All calves born on or after January 1, 2013, must be tested for BVD and cannot be sold unless a negative test result is available in respect of the animal.

The estimated annual on-farm losses resulting from the disease are of the order of €102m. Eliminating these losses is the aim of the BVD Eradication Programme.

Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney said excellent progress is being made under the programme.

However, there is a problem with the number of Persistently Infected (PI) animals being retained on a relatively small number of farms.

He said he was glad to be in a position to refocus and better target the support provided by his Department in 2014.

The refocused and improved support of €120 will target the first and subsequent PI calves born in beef herds in 2014, provided disposal of the PI calves take place in a timely fashion.

There would also be support of €75 towards the second and subsequent PI female calves born in dairy herds in 2014, again provided that they are disposed of in a timely manner.

These supports will apply for one year only.

* A BVD helpline is operational on 076-1064590 to assist farmers who have queries in relation to the programme

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