The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, has announced the launch of the compulsory Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Programme at the Animal Health Ireland stand at the National Ploughing Championships.
The compulsory phase of the programme, which will commence on 1st January 2013, follows on from the successful operation of the voluntary phase of the programme in the course of 2012. The BVD virus is estimated to cost Irish cattle farmers in excess of €100 million each year.
The Minister said “The collaborative approach that underpins the work of Animal Health Ireland has been critical in advancing the compulsory programme and I am delighted that there was such overwhelming support for this initiative by all the stakeholders, most particularly the farm organisations”.
The key elements of the compulsory programme is new legislation requiring that all calves born on or after 1st January 2013 be tested for the BVD virus, a ban on the movement/sale of all such animals unless they have a negative result for BVD and some specific arrangements in respect of follow up testing where a persistently infected animal is identified.