Neighbours and vets should be automatically and immediately notified a neighbouring farmer has a persistently infected (PI) retaining herd, according to Pat McCormack, ICMSA Deputy President.

Speaking following a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, McCormack, said that all the tools necessary to eradicate BVD in the shortest time-frame possible must be applied immediately.

McCormack said that such measures should include an incentive towards the early removal of BVD-infected animals through a ‘frontloaded’ compensation package.

The ICMSA Deputy President also called for a mandatory notice to be sent to the vet relevant to a PI herd.

“The retention of PI animals on farms has been, and continues to be, the main obstacle encountered over the course of the four-year programme.

“But the single biggest disappointment over this last year has been the Department’s tentative response to our demands for the joint notification of both neighbours and vets.”

That indecision is hindering PI removal and has undoubtedly led to the slowing-down of the BVD Eradication Program.

McCormack said that continued tissue tagging is a major cost to all breeding herds involved in the BVD programme and ICMSA has requested the Minister of Agriculture to put in place financial supports toward the ongoing cost of tissue tag testing.

“The imminent calving season and the decisions that remain to be taken will be the defining acts for this programme and only the Minister can push these through towards a successful conclusion. Minister Creed did recognise our proposals and committed to looking at them,” McCormack said.