Vets and ICMSA look to pull out of BVD scheme
The national BVD eradication scheme has hit a crisis point with both the ICMSA and the vet grouping behind the initiative threatening to pull out just before it begins.
In a statement issued yesterday, Veterinary Ireland warned that the disease eradication plan could actually encourage the spread of BVD.
"We are fearful that failure to prohibit the sale of animals which test positive [for BVD] will lead to an increase in the spread of this disease," it said.
"We're particularly anxious about the more naive farmers, who may believe that they are buying a BVD-free animal, especially if it has a tissue tag in its ear," said Veterinary Ireland food animal group chairman Donal Lynch.
"Without compulsory declarations of infected animals, the tag is meaningless and we are really putting the whole programme back by a year."
The ICMSA said that it could not be party to a scheme that didn't make the sale of persistently infected (PI) animals illegal.
"A statutory instrument to make this obligatory could be drafted within a number of days," said the ICMSA's general secretary, Ciaran Dolan.
However, both the IFA and the ICSA were reluctant to support a change to the scheme that would force farmers to identify infected animals.