Thousands of farmers face BVD movement blow
Movement restrictions are set to kick in on March 1 for close to 2,000 farms that have failed to comply with the national BVD programme.
Progress in eradicating the disease has been slower than hoped for, with the finger of blame being pointed at farmers who retain persistently infected (PI) animals into the breeding season and healthy cows pregnant with PI calves, or 'Trojan' cows as they are known.
The hard line being taken on movement restrictions is viewed as an effort to get the BVD Scheme back on track.
In 2013, it was estimated that over 11pc of herds had some level of BVD. This fell to 7.6pc in 2014.
However, it is unlikely that this figure will be more than halved in 2015, which was intended to be the final year of the scheme.
Farmers have been offered State-aided compensation since 2013 to remove PI animals, but nearly 2,000 farms either did not test their animals or retained close to 3,000 positive animals last year.
The implementation group from Animal Health Ireland (AHI) met last week to finalise the type of movement restrictions that would apply to non-compliant herds.
The Department of Agriculture has also shortened the window to offload PI calves for farmers who intend to apply for compensation in 2015.