UFU welcomes BVD enforcement

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union says it is positive for the industry that DAERA is stepping up its enforcement of the 2016 BVD order.

UFU deputy president, David Brown said: “We would prefer farmers willingly comply with the legislation to test their animals and prosecutions weren’t necessary. However, there are a small number of producers blatantly flaunting the law, putting their neighbours at risk and undermining the efforts of the rest of the industry to eradicate this disease. Where this is the case, it is encouraging to see DAERA taking action.”

Mr Brown says the UFU has been calling for more robust measures to be implemented within the BVD scheme for some time now.

“We want to see universal compliance with the legislation, testing, and prompt removal of BVD positive animals. To this end, we continue to work with industry partners to progress plans to prevent untested animals moving to abattoirs. We see this as the most effective means of ensuring all animals are tested for BVD,” he said.

The UFU says it is in the economic interest of farm businesses to remove BVD positive calves as soon as possible.

“BVD is a costly disease. PI animals shed the BVD virus at high levels throughout their lives and are the greatest risk of spreading infection. Holding on to BVD infected animals only prolongs the expense of eradicating BVD for the entire industry.”

DAERA has said herds with significant numbers of untested animals born since 1 March 2016 (when compulsory testing commenced) will be contacted and given 30 days to have these animals tested. Failure to do so may result in prosecution.