Payments under the bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) tag scheme have commenced this week.
The scheme, which was introduced as part of the Department of Agriculture’s financial support package for BVD eradication, includes a payment of €2 per calf to a maximum of 25 calves born between 1 August 2022 and 31 July 2023.
Farmers with eligible breeding herds have been auto-enrolled in the scheme, meaning there is no requirement to apply for payment, with data collected from the animal identification and movement system (AIMS).
The terms and conditions of the scheme state that the purchase of new tag sets during the lifetime of the scheme is required to trigger the payment.
The scheme has a fund of €2.25m and has been introduced for one year (2023).
As reported in last week’s edition, pressure is mounting on the Minister for Agriculture to build on the payment for 2024 and cover costs borne by farmers to comply with the BVD national eradication programme.
The pressure, mainly from farm organisations, is stemming from the fact that BVD tissue testing has been mandatory since 2013, with farmers who opted for the voluntary year in 2012 almost certain to be heading into their 13th year of tissue tag testing.