Compulsory testing for BVD set for NI
The decision follows a 12-week consultation earlier this year.
Speaking this morning, O’Neill said: “Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland announced its voluntary BVD eradication programme in January 2013, and following a public consultation, by my department, on a proposal to make the testing of bovines for BVD compulsory, I intend to introduce legislation to support the farming industry in working together to eradicate BVD.
“This will result in improved cattle health and economic growth for individual herd keepers and the North as a whole and is in keeping with the all-Ireland animal health strategy.
According to O’Neill, the legislation will put herd keepers in the North on an equal footing to those in the south of Ireland and in Scotland, as well as other EU member states, where eradication schemes for BVD are already well under way.
“This is of particular importance given the recent announcements in the US and Singapore to open their markets to beef exports,” she added.