Creed confirms compulsory BVD testing for animals born before 2013

Animals in the national herd born before January 2013 will be tested for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD), according to a new statutory instrument (SI) signed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

Minister Creed recently signed SI No. 182 of 2020, the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (Amendment) Regulations 2020, to require the compulsory testing of animals in the national herd that were born prior to that date.

Minister Creed expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing progress being made in the eradication of BVD. The minister said that “substantial savings” were being achieved by farmers, with the incidence of persistently infected animals (PIs) falling to 0.04% at the end of 2019, from 0.66% at the end of 2013.

The eradication effort will now be further enhanced by the introduction of this amendment to the existing regulations. The SI came into effect in May 2020 and there is now a legal requirement for all animals born on or before January 1, 2013, to have a known BVD status.

“Determining the status of these animals will enable the majority of these herds to acquire negative herd status within the programme, joining the 92% of breeding herds that have already achieved this status,” the minister said.

He added: “My department will shortly be writing to the small number of herds affected by this amendment, advising them of the requirement to test and identify the animals in question.”

Minister Creed also thanked Animal Health Ireland (AHI) and the cross-industry BVD Implementation Group for their “valuable work in leading the eradication programme”.