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Apr 22, 2020 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

20 APRIL 2020
ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chair Hugh Farrell has said the time is now right to bring compulsory BVD testing to an end. “Farmers have complied assiduously with the BVD Eradication Programme and their efforts are reflected in the fact that we have gone from 0.77% positives in 2013 to 0.02% positives so far in 2020, according to figures released by Animal Health Ireland (AHI). The rate of 0.77% in 2013 equated to 16,194 PI births while the current rate of 0.02% equates to just 307, or 2 out of every 10,000 births. These figures illustrate that mandatory testing should no longer be a requirement,” he said.

“The programme has done what it set out to do, particularly when you take into consideration the massive increase in the dairy herd. Problematic areas have been highlighted during the course of the programme and these can continue to be monitored to ensure levels do not creep back up. In addition, controls must be put in place to ensure imported cattle are BVD free and do not pose any threat.”

“Farmers have been fully committed to and invested heavily in the programme, which was initially intended to last just three years. However, they will not put up with never-ending testing and the expense of on-going testing is something that can’t be sustained any longer, especially for low income farmers.”

“At this point, labs and their skilled personnel have a bigger task on their hands dealing with Covid-19. It is there that valuable resources should be focused.”


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