Recent figures from the NI BVD Programme indicate that positive animals need to be disposed of quickly if significant progress is to be made towards eradication. Of the animals with an initial positive test result in the first year of the programme, approximately 40% have been retained for longer than six weeks, posing a risk to their herds and to neighbouring herds. Additional measures are now necessary to accelerate the disposal of BVD-infected animals.

The presence of BVD in NI is thought to cost in the region of £20m to £30m each year to industry. As well as the direct advantages to farmers, there are a range of other benefits to be gained from the eradication of BVD, in terms of reduced antibiotic usage on farms, reduced animal-related greenhouse gas emissions and increased awareness of biosecurity. Any extension to the time taken to reach eradication of BVD will delay the realisation of these benefits to both industry and society.