Farmers must help to pay bill for killing BVD
The findings of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) study into the cost of the BVD virus to the Irish livestock sector makes for fairly stark reading.
The overall cost is put at €102m, while the losses to each sector are also extremely severe.
According to the authors, BVD costs dairy farmers €55m each year, suckler farmers €27m and beef finishers €20m.
The losses are significant for all three enterprises, but particularly so for suckler farmers and beef finishers, who are continually struggling to make a return from what are essentially low-margin businesses.
The study, which was commissioned by Animal Health Ireland (AHI), confirmed what many in the industry had been saying for some time.
The good news from the farmers' point of view is that there is a plan and concrete proposals for an eradication programme.
The plan is due to kick off next year on a voluntary basis and moves to a compulsory scheme in 2013.
The programme is scheduled to take six years, with three years given over to the testing of tissue tag samples from calves, and the remaining three years taken up by surveillance and further testing where required.