Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue believes that the finishing line for BVD eradication in Ireland is in sight.

The Minister said it is his clear ambition to eradicate the disease as soon as possible from the national herd.

Speaking in response to a parliamentary question from Michael Fitzmaurice TD, he said that good progress has been made with the incidence of BVD-positive calves decreasing to 0.03% in 2023 compared with 0.66% in 2013, the year the BVD eradication programme was introduced.

BVD-free status

“The new animal health law came into force in April 2021 sets out the requirements for recognition of BVD-free status at EU level,” the Minister continued.

“Commission delegated regulation (EU) 2020/689 requires at least 99.8% of the cattle herds representing at least 99.9% of the cattle population must be categorised as free from BVD and that there has not been a confirmed BVD cases in the preceding 18 months,” he said.

Tag testing

This year, farmers will receive a payment of €2.40 per calf up to a maximum of 25 calves under the Department of Agriculture’s BVD support package, a 40c/tag increase on 2023.

The budget for the scheme this year is €3.75m. The eradication programme is entering its 12th year this year.