With farmers here facing a number of years of tissue-testing for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD), the chair of the National Beef Association (NBA) in NI, Oisin Murnion, has highlighted concerns on whether there are enough safeguards in place to prevent new sources of infection.

In particular, he questions what DAERA will do to prevent imports being brought in which are potentially persistently infected with the disease. “In the past, it was cattle imports into NI that brought us all of these production diseases in the first place. There isn’t much point putting farmers to the expense of tissue tagging calves only to let BVD back in again through the back door,” Murnion told the Irish Farmers Journal.