21st December, 2011
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) suckler chairman, Dermot Kelleher, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of details of the BVD Eradication Scheme. However, he said that the €100 in respect of each PI animal along with a €15 knackery subsidy falls well short of the economic cost to the farmer.
“ICSA supports the effort to eradicate this damaging disease from the national herd and we encourage all farmers to test their calves in 2012. This will give farmers a head start on 2013 when the testing will be compulsory. The key reason for testing is that it is in the farmer’s own interest because the knock-on effects of BVD can be truly horrendous in terms of cattle having low immunity to other diseases, fertility issues etc and the cost of BVD in a herd can run into thousands.
“I would also like to highlight the €100 welfare payment for any suckler cow whose offspring is removed during the programme. This is not sufficient, it costs at least €500 a year to keep a suckler so the welfare payment should reflect that,” Mr. Kelleher concluded