Some 50,000 of the 83,000 Irish suckler and dairy breeding herds have acquired negative herd status (NHS) under the bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) national eradication programme.

Animal Health Ireland (AHI) expects a large percentage of herds awaiting NHS to achieve this in the near future. It says the reason for many herds not achieving NHS status is because they contain a small number of animals, generally two to three, with a status that is not yet known. The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) is issuing text messages to these herds and providing the identity of these animals. Programme manager David Graham said: “The large number of herds with NHS at this stage marks significant progress within the national eradication programme and this number is expected to grow further in the coming weeks as more herds complete the required testing. Herds that have retained PI animals are encouraged to dispose of them immediately to allow them to progress to NHS as quickly as possible.”