There have been 796,000 Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) test results received by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) since January 1 2015.

Some 120,000 of these results have been received between March 6 and March 13 it says. The ICBF says that since the beginning of the voluntary phase in 2012 5.74m results have now been received.

“As was emphasised again at the most recent BVD Implementation Group meeting, the removal of PI animals is critical to the success of the BVD Eradication Scheme,” the ICBF says.

In order to avail of Department of Agriculture supports for 2015, all persistently infected (PI) calves born in 2012, 2013 and 2014 had to be disposed of by March 1, 2015.

Earlier this year the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney announced payments of up to €140 for the disposal of PI calves from beef herds.

“The removal of PI animals will also be a stipulation of the proposed Beef Data Genomics Programme and successor programmes,” the ICBF says.

ICBF calf registrations are also higher than at this time last year the latest figures show. Total calf birth registrations are 790,730, up 127,494 from the same time in 2014.

Dairy births are up over 100,000 from this time last year also, with 618,764 dairy births registered so far this year. This time last year dairy calf births were 516,122, the ICBF says.

For the week ending March 13, 2015, calf registrations numbered 109,719 an increase of  17,974 from the week ending March 13, 2014.

ICBF calf regs March 13