Farmers must ensure they are abiding by the 2016 bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) order and isolating animals following a positive BVD tissue test result, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has urged.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland has announced that spot checks will be carried out in the coming weeks to check if a positive animal is being isolated accordingly.

UFU deputy president William Irvine said: “We have made strong progress with reductions of BVD-positive animals, but it does continue to be a huge cost to the industry.

“There are more aspects to the 2016 order that have not yet been applied and this announcement is merely a step in the right direction.”

Significant fines

The 2016 BVD order makes provision for the ban of slaughtering BVD untagged animals, as well as further herd restrictions for any herd which continues to keep persistently infected animals.

The UFU has urged members to be aware of the spot checks and to ensure that if they retain a BVD-positive animal, that it is being isolated correctly.

Irvine continued: “Every farmer must play their part in eradicating this disease and isolation is essential to protect the health of the remaining herd and the entire livestock sector.

"The best course of action when a BVD-positive animal is identified is to remove it immediately from the remaining herd.”

Anyone who is found to be breaching the isolation requirements could be prosecuted and if convicted may face a significant fine.

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