The funding announced to support BVD testing on farms in 2024 is “an insult to farmers”, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said.

IFA animal health chair TJ Maher said the Department of Agriculture failed to deliver a comprehensive support package for the BVD eradication programme.

“The financial commitment by the Department is nothing short of an insult to farmers and fails to recognise the enormous effort and investment they have made in the programme to date.

“It’s infuriating that the Minister for Agriculture couldn’t come forward with an appropriate package that would remove the cost burden on farmers as the programme approaches the proof of freedom phase,” he said.


Maher was reacting to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue’s announcement of €3.75m in BVD funding for 2024.

The animal health chair said on-farm BVD testing costs are almost €10m per annum and since the BVD programme began in 2013, farmers have absorbed over €120m in testing and associated costs.

In 2024, there has been an increase of 35c to a BVD test for farmers and post has increased from €1.04 when the testing became mandatory to €2.95 this year.


Maher said the payment of just €2.40 per sample, for a maximum of 25 samples per farm, is insufficient.

“Farmers are rightly furious at the lack of Government support for the BVD programme.

“Animal Health Ireland (AHI), but particularly the Department of Agriculture, have a job of work to do if they want to restore farmers' confidence in AHI’s shared funding model.

“This funding announcement is nothing short of an insult to farmers and will leave them questioning the future role of the AHI model in tackling other diseases such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR),” he added.

This year's budget for the scheme is €3.75m, up from €2.25m in 2023.

The €2.40 per calf to a maximum of 25 calves is a 20% rise on the €2/head paid to farmers for tissue tagging calves in 2023.