22 December 2018
By Bryan Smyth
The Cork based Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today confirmed the continuation of the supports from his Department for the early removal of PI (persistently infected) calves under the national Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) Eradication Programme in 2019.
Minister Creed expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing progress being made in the eradication of BVD. The Minister noted that substantial savings were being achieved by farmers, in excess of €85m in 2018 alone, with the incidence of PIs falling this year to just 0.06% from 0.66% in 2013 – the first year of the compulsory phase of the Eradication Programme.
He said “the DAFM supports were helping the eradication effort. In addition, the automatic restriction of herds with retained PI’s had proven very effective.”
The supports available in 2019 in respect of early removal of PI calves will be as follows:
- €160 if the female dairy and dairy cross calves are removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
- €30 if the female dairy and dairy cross calves are removed between day 11 and 21 of the first positive or inconclusive test.
- €30 towards the disposal of dairy bull calves through the abattoir or knackery within 14 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
- €220 if the calf is removed within 10 days of the first positive or inconclusive test.
- €30 if the calf is removed between day 11 and 21 of the first positive or inconclusive test.
In a further tightening of the eradication effort in 2019, the system of automatic restrictions and notification of neighbours will now apply at 3 weeks following the date of the original positive or inconclusive test in the event that a date of death is not recorded on AIM by that time.
In the small number of cases where it is requested, confirmatory testing will be done through blood sampling similar to the arrangements in 2017 and 2018. Under this arrangement the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will continue to fund the collection of blood samples by a Private Veterinary Practitioner (PVP), and their subsequent testing and when sampled at the same time, testing of their dams.
The Minister also confirmed that the system of mandatory farm herd investigation once a PI is disclosed (TASAH) will continue. This arrangement, funded under the RDP 2014-2020, has proven beneficial to farmers in assisting them in the eradication of the disease. An increased level of testing within these herds will take place as part of this arrangement into 2019.
In addition, farmers will be strongly advised not to sell animals that were in-calf while the PI was present in the herd.
Imported animals will be tested by DAFM and those that turn out to be PI will not qualify for supports.
There will also be an increased level of communication to farmers in the course of the year emphasising the need for prompt testing of calves.
Collectively, these measures are aimed to ensure that both the prompt identification and removal of PI animals to ensure that the goal of eradication is achieved as rapidly as possible.
Finally, the Minister took the opportunity to thank Animal Health Ireland and the Industry’s BVD Implementation Group for their valuable work in the course of 2018.