Farmers will receive a payment of €2.40 per calf to a maximum of 25 calves under the Department of Agriculture's BVD support package.

This is a 20% rise on the €2/head paid to farmers for tissue tagging calves in 2023.

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

Tissue tagging of calves under the BVD national eradication programme entered its 12th year in 2024.

At the outset of the programme, BVD was costing farmers €102m each year, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said.

"The investment by farmers and the State over the past 10 years in delivering the vastly improved disease situation has almost eliminated all these financial costs from farmers, as well as the stress experienced by farm families tending to sick calves," he said.

On Thursday 28 March, the minister also confirmed his support for a number of projects along with the BVD funding.


Acknowledging the threat of the introduction into Ireland of exotic diseases such as avian influenza, Bluetongue and African Swine Fever which are currently spreading across Europe, Minister McConalogue confirmed the allocation of additional funding towards addressing this risk.

This will be done through enhanced surveillance activities, including post import testing, and awareness raising.

The minister further emphasised the critical need for strict biosecurity protocols to be applied at individual farm level, to ensure early detection of any exotic disease risk and to mitigate potential impacts.

Furthermore, Minister McConalogue confirmed continued investments under the Rural Development Programme's Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) program to provide specialised veterinary advice to farmers.


In addressing other health concerns such as Johnes Disease and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), Minister McConalogue expressed a commitment to further engagement with stakeholders on these industry-led initiatives at the Animal Health Ireland coordinated implementation groups.

“Preliminary information shows that some 50% of participating herds and 88% of animals tested negative for IBR, which is an invaluable insight into the challenge ahead."

The minister added that future research is necessary to validate the efficacy of bulk milk testing as a surveillance methodology and committed €100,000 to AHI to support their research into any future control/eradication programme.

"The success of the farming year is dependent on many factors but much hinges on the health and well-being of a farmers’ livestock.

"Good animal health not only enhances farm productivity and profitability but also leads to reduced antibiotic usage, improved animal welfare, lower carbon emissions, and minimised risks of zoonotic diseases.

"From a Government perspective, over and above the comprehensive range of sectoral supports, we look to support them with the knowledge, information, tools and resources necessary to optimise their management choices and safeguard their livelihoods," he said.