Dairy farmers will receive €160/head and beef farmers will receive €220/head in 2021 for cattle removed from the herd within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive BVD test.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue confirmed the support payments for farmers on Wednesday.
The minister expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing progress being made in the eradication of BVD.
He noted that substantial savings are being achieved by farmers, with the incidence of BVD-positive animals decreasing this year to just 0.03% from 0.66% in 2013 – the first year of the compulsory phase of the eradication programme.
The minister said the BVD programme is at a decisive point and that the opportunity to achieve BVD freedom is in reach.
“It is vital that everyone plays their part to finish it out. Excellent progress has been made over the past years and we must intensify our efforts to ensure success. My Department has committed to an enhanced programme agreed by the BVD implementation group; and pledges substantial supports for the next two-year period,” he said.
“I commend farmers' ongoing commitment to the BVD eradication programme and urge everyone to make one final push to reach BVD-free herd,” he said.
Automatic herd restrictions and notification to neighbouring holdings will continue in 2021.
These are designed to encourage prompt removal of PI calves. To ensure BVD infection is contained within the herd of disclosure, herd restrictions will apply from one day following the date of the initial BVD positive or inconclusive test.
Animal health investigations
The Minister also confirmed that the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH), a mandatory herd epidemiological investigation after disclosure of a BVD-positive or inconclusive animal, will continue.
The Department will fund a whole-herd test as part of an epidemiological investigation in 2021, and all eligible females are to be vaccinated against BVD in 2021 and 2022 by each farmer’s nominated PVP.
The minster confirmed that the work of the BVD implementation group is continuing to consider the additional measures needed to bring the eradication programme to as speedy a conclusion as possible.
The changes taken for 2021 reflect the requirements of the new EU animal health legislation in April 2021 and the required changes needed to achieve official recognition of the programme at EU level.