As part of the process to help eradicate BVD in Northern Ireland, industry has been working with DAERA towards a solution where statuses can be applied on APHIS to help identify the BVD status of an animal.
These statuses will go live on APHIS from Monday 12th February 2018. This mechanism will help provide greater visibility of the BVD status of an animal, but more importantly, it will strengthen the controls to prevent cattle which present a high risk of spreading BVD from moving to another farm, a livestock market or an Export Assembly Centre.
Herd keepers are encouraged to check their herd list for these statuses before moving animals from the farm. A full list of the statuses is in the table (right) and more information on BVD can be found on the AHWNI NI website: www.animalhealthni.com.
Members should also be aware that the Union’s committees have requested that a much firmer stance is taken on farms which retain PI’s given their threat to other farms and also more widely the impact this is having on eradicating BVD from Northern Ireland.
Unfortunately the current lack of government is preventing the adoption of additional legal controls. Rather than wait for a new government it has been deemed urgent by our committees to press ahead with additional industry controls.
As a result the Union has approached other industry organisations and local processing plants about the potential to ban all PI’s from entering the food chain in Northern Ireland. This would effectively remove the market for these animals and create a major disincentive to retain them for beef.
Only two in 10 PI’s make it to beef and those animals during their lifetime will present a significant disease risk to the rest of the herd, to neighbouring farms and to the eradication of BVD from Northern Ireland.