Support for BVD Programme vital

The new BVD Programme will require support from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine if it is to succeed, IFA indicated this week.

The new BVD Programme will require support from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine if it is to succeed, IFA indicated this week.

The orgnaisation’s Animal Health chairman, John Waters, called on Minister Simon Coveney to provide the supports and incentives necessary, to farmers, to ensure the success of the compulsory BVD eradication programme, which was rolled out last year.

“The programme is underway, and that means that all farmers must participate,” said Mr Waters, adding that a recent survey also highlighted that suckler farmers would be forced to carry “an unfair and disproportionate” level of cost when eradicating BVD from the national herd.

“Achieving the objectives of the BVD programme depends on best practice advice being followed, and the supports and incentives sought by IFA are essential to ensure this happens.”

The local farmer and chairman went on to say, that, a key component to the overall success of the voluntary programme was the incentives provided by the Minister, and he pointed to how best those incentitives could be maintained. “Farmers are making a significant investment over the next three years to achieve eradication of BVD from the national herd, and it is vital that the Minister for Agriculture. Food and the Marine supports these efforts in a real and meaningful way,” Mr Waters continued. “IFA is calling on the Minister to continue the €100 payment for suckler cows whose calves are removed as Pis, and the €15 knackery disposal cost payment. Further targeted supports are also being sought for farmers losing over 10% of their calves as PI s, and where the dam of a PI calf in dairy herds, is identified as PI of €250 per animal in both situations.”

In conclusion IFA’s Ulster/North-Leinster Vice Preident also pointed out, “the investment being made by farmers must be considered. The cost of these supports and incentives is minimal, and will be spread over two years for the Minister, but most importantly these are critical to the success of the eradication programme within the stated timeframes, and protecting suckler farmers from a disproportionate level of costs”.