Extra farm fund for BVD wipeout

Funding is to be made available to farmers who have multiple cases of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) infected calves.

The payment will be made to farmers whose suckler herds have two or more calves culled from the herd under BVD Eradication Programme. The payment will be at a rate of €100 in respect of the second and subsequent infected calves.

Speaking on the announcement, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said:  “My department is providing, free of charge, a blood-based test to confirm the persistently infected 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 PI cows”.

He also paid tribute to Animal Health Ireland and its BVD Implementation Group. “The industry-led programme was a major undertaking for the agricultural sector. The test compliance rates under the compulsory phase of programme were running at a very high level,” he added.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has welcomed the move.  IFA animal health chairman John Waters said the supports will reduce some of the burden experienced by farmers and it will assist in achieving eradication of BVD.

“The benefits of BVD-free status to farmers are estimated to be in excess of €100m annually. In order for farmers to avail of the savings and improved returns, it is critical that we attain this status as soon as possible,” he added.
Farmers have committed to significant investment in the BVD Programme, based on the uptake for the voluntary programme in 2012, and compliance levels of 98% in the compulsory programme to date this year, the IFA added in a statement this afternoon.
Application forms will issue directly to farmers who have been identified as having two or more persistently infected calves from the BVD Compensation Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Offices, Portlaoise, Co Laois.  In addition, a BVD helpline is in operation on 0761064590. It has answered in excess of 20,000 calls since its inception earlier this year.
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