Creed confirms continuation of BVD eradication payments

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced confirmation of his department’s continued support payments for Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) eradication.

Creed said he was satisfied with the progress in BVD eradication so far, and committed to continuing the payments system for the removal of persistently infected (PI) calves under the BVD Eradication Programme for 2019.

The [department] supports were helping the eradication effort. In addition, the automatic restriction of herds with retained PI’s had proven very effective.

Speaking shortly before Christmas (Saturday, December 22), the minister highlighted that farmers had saved a total of €85 million in 2018, and furthermore, that cases of PI calves had fallen to 0.06% from 0.66% in 2013 – the year compliance with the programme became compulsory.

As well as the continued funding some measures will be tightened, including the system of automatic restrictions and notification of neighbours. This will now apply at three weeks after the original positive or inconclusive test, if a date of death is not recorded in the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system by that time.

The supports available in 2019 for the early removal of PI calves will be as follows:

Dairy

  • €160 if the female dairy and dairy-cross calves are removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
  • €30 if the female dairy and dairy-cross calves are removed between day 11 and 21 after the first positive or inconclusive test.
  • €30 towards the disposal of dairy bull calves through the abattoir or knackery within 14 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.

Beef

  • €220 if the calf is removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
  • €30 if the calf is removed between day 11 and 21 after the first positive or inconclusive test.

The minister added that the system of herd investigation, after a case of a PI calf is disclosed, will continue in the new year and will see an increased level of testing.

According to the department, the system of investigation has “proven beneficial” to farmers, assisting them in eradicating the disease.

The department advises farmers not to sell animals that were in calf while PI calves were in the herd.

Imported animals will also be tested by department officials, and those with positive results will not qualify for support payments.

Minister Creed concluded his comments by thanking Animal Health Ireland and the BVD Implementation Group for their efforts in 2018.