Calls for BVD testing to be made compulsory and for suckler compensation to be €400

Suckler cow and calf
Suckler cow and calf

ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chairman Hugh Farrell has said that many farmers who have never had a BVD positive test result in their calves are fed up with a scheme that has gone on for seven years and he said that it is now time to make 2019 the last year of full scale compulsory testing.

He said that suckler farmers are particularly frustrated because the loss of a calf results in zero income for that suckler cow for the year and he reiterated the ICSA view that the compensation for a suckler calf under the BVD programme should be at least €400. 

However, the key point is that most farmers have been co-operating with the scheme over the past seven years and have never had a positive BVD test. Mandatory testing of those herds who have never had a BVD positive test has to come to an end.

Herds where BVD is still being found could be required to continue testing based on risk assessment and of course, there is nothing to stop farmers continuing on a voluntary basis.

However, he says, it is now time to save the time and cost of testing from herds where the risk of BVD is all but eliminated.     

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