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Coveney Announces Re-Focused BVD Assistance Measures

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D., today announced a re-focusing of the support arrangements provided by DAFM for farmers faced with the removal of persistently infected calves born from their herds in 2014 under the compulsory phase of the Bovine Viral diarrhoea (BVD) Eradication Programme.

Minister Coveney said that excellent progress is being made under the BVD Eradication Programme thanks to efforts of the BVD Implementation Group, ably chaired and facilitated by Animal Health Ireland and by farmers generally through their participation and compliance with the programme. However, there is a problem with the number of Persistently Infected (PI) animals being retained on a relatively small number of farms.

The Minister added that, having discussed the matter with the BVD Implementation Group, he was glad to be in a position to refocus and better target the support provided by DAFM in 2014, having taken into account the experience of 2013.  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.

The Minister indicated that, in the context of providing this support and to ensure that the eradication programme advances as quickly as possible, he wished the BVD Implementation Group to quickly address the risk associated with pregnant females leaving herds in which PI animals have been identified in order to protect free herds from the potential risk of introducing infection through so called ‘trojan’ animals and also improved information flows that would will facilitate appropriate risk mitigation measures to be taken by relevant parties. He has asked the BVD IG to revert to him with appropriate proposals at an early date.

Minister Coveney confirmed that his Department would continue to provide, free of charge, a blood based test to confirm the persistently infected (PI) status of those calves that give a positive test result on tag testing. His Department is also providing a blood test for the dams of those calves and any progeny of PI cows.

Application forms will issue directly to the farmers concerned from the BVD Compensation Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Offices, Portlaoise, Co Laois. 

 

Note for Editors                                                                                                                                           

 

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 progeny 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.

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

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 79/2014 (pdf 346Kb) 

Date Released: 04 June 2014