The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., recently confirmed the continuation of the supports from his Department for the early removal of PI (persistently infected) calves under the national Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) Eradication Programme in 2018.
Minister Creed said that he was very pleased with the progress made in the eradication of BVD in the course of 2017.
He added: “The supports are helping the eradication effort. In addition, the move from February 2017 to automatically restrict herds that retain PI’s beyond the 5 week period is proving very effective.”
The Minister noted that substantial savings were being achieved by farmers - in excess of €70 m in 2017 alone with incidence of PIs falling this year to just 0.1% from 0.66% in 2013 - the first year of the compulsory phase of the eradication Programme.
The supports available in 2018 in respect of early removal of PI calves will be as follows:
·€150 if the female dairy and dairy cross calves are removed within 21 days (3 weeks) of the first positive or inconclusive test.
· €35 if the female dairy and dairy cross calves are removed between day 22 and 35 (the 4th and 5th week) of the first positive or inconclusive test.
· €30 towards the disposal of dairy bull calves through the abattoir or knackery within 21 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
· €185 if the calf is removed within 21 days (3 weeks) of the first positive or inconclusive test.
· €60 if the calf is removed between day 22 and 35 (4th and 5th week) of the first positive or inconclusive test.
The system of automatic restrictions will continue to apply 5 weeks following the date of the original positive or inconclusive test. This arrangement has avoided an immediate unanticipated close down of the herd and provides a window in order that animals may be retested if required.
Similar to the arrangements in 2017 confirmatory testing will be done through blood sampling. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will continue to fund the collection of blood samples by a Private Veterinary Practitioner (PVP), their subsequent testing, and when sampled at the same time, the testing of their dams.
The Minister also confirmed that the system of mandatory farm herd investigation once a PI is disclosed (TASAH) will continue in 2018. This arrangement, funded under the RDP 2014-2020, has proven beneficial to farmers in assisting them in the eradication of the disease.
Finally, the Minister took the opportunity to thank Animal Health Ireland and the industry’s BVD Implementation Group for their valuable work in the course of 2017.