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Minister Coveney Announces Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Assistance Measures

The Minister for Agriculture Food and The Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that he would be making funding available to those farmers who have multiple cases of persistently infected (P.I.) calves in their herds under the  compulsory phase of the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Eradication Programme.

The payment will be made to farmers whose suckler herds have 2 or more calves culled from the herd under the programme. The payment will be at a rate of €100 in respect of the second and subsequent P.I. calves. The Minister said “there was a strong welfare argument in favour of offering this assistance which would be a contribution towards the replacement cost of a P.I. calf”.

Referring to the scheme itself, the Minister said “the industry-led programme was a major undertaking for the agricultural sector” and went on to say “the test compliance rates under the compulsory phase of programme were running at a very high level”. In this regard, Minister Coveney paid particular tribute to Animal Health Ireland and its BVD Implementation Group.

He went on to say “my Department is providing, free of charge, a blood based test to confirm the persistently infected (P.I.) status of those calves that give a positive test result on tag testing and it is also providing a blood test for the dams of those calves and any progeny of P.I. cows”.

Application forms will issue directly to farmers who have been identified as having 2 or more P.I. calves from the BVD Compensation Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Offices, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. A BVD helpline is in operation on 076-1064590 to assist farmers who have queries in relation to the programme and has answered in excess of 20,000 calls since its inception earlier this year.

Notes for Editor 

BVD is a notifiable disease since 1 January 2013 coinciding with the start of the compulsory phase of the BVD eradication programme. Under the programme, all calves born on or after 1 January 2013 must be tested for BVD and cannot be sold unless a negative test result is available in respect of the animal. Notification to test other suspect animals, such as dams or other progency is issued in due course.  Those animals must be tested and may not move until a negative test result is available. It has been estimated that the annual on-farm losses resulting from the disease are of the order of €102m Euro.  The objective of the BVD Eradication programme is to eliminate these losses.

Date Released: 12 June 2013