Incidence of BVD infection now at a low level

Michael Creed
Michael Creed

THE incidence of BVD (Bovine Viral Disease) infection in Irish cattle herds has fallen from 0.66% in 2013 to just 0.06% in 2018, according to the latest figures released by the Dept. of Agriculture.

Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed said that the early removal of PI (persistently infected) calves and the automatic restriction of herds with retained PIs had proven to be very effective. He also confirmed the continuation of ‘supports’ for farmers who carry out an early removal of any PI calves from their herd. These supports are:

■ In beef herds, a €220 payment if the calf is removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test and €30 if the calf is removed between day 11 and 21 of the test.

■ In dairy herds, a €160 payment (females only) if the calf is removed within 10 days and €30 between days 11 and 21 and a €30 payment for bull calves removed within 14 days of the test.

Minister Creed said that in a further tightening of the BVD eradication effort in 2019 the system of automatic restrictions and notification of neighbours would now apply at three weeks after the date of the original positive or inconclusive test.

He also confirmed that the system of mandatory farm herd investigations would continue after a PI had been disclosed adding that this had proven to be very beneficial to the farmers concerned.

Farmers will also be strongly advised not to sell animals that were in-calf while the PI was present in their herd.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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