As reported last week, the Ulster Farmers’ Union has suggested to the LMC that farmers who retain calves persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) should be excluded from the NI beef and lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (FQAS).

It is understood that approximately 650 herds in FQAS have retained PI calves and, in total, these herds account for over 130,000 cattle. Given the penalties that apply at most meat plants for non-FQAS animals, excluding herds from FQAS until the PI is removed should help to encourage those producers to take some positive action.