Extra year of BVD testing 'outlandish'

THE proposed extra year of BVD testing is 'outlandish and totally unacceptable', according to Kerry ICMSA Chairperson Noel Murphy.

The Technical Working Group responsible for the oversight of the BVD eradication programme is proposing that farmers who entered the voluntary scheme in 2012 and are now in their final year of tissue testing should carry out an additional year of testing at their own cost.

"This is totally unacceptable and contrary to the commitment given to these farmers," according to Mr Murphy.

He described the proposal as outlandish given that farmers voluntarily agreed to enter the scheme in 2012 and were given a commitment that the programme would run for three years and no longer.

"Farmers have met the conditions in full, invested in the scheme on that basis and are now being told they will have to do another year. Hovering over all this is the TB experience, which provides a very serious example of where things can go wrong," he said.

The Kerry ICMSA Chairperson said that if extra testing is required at this stage, it should be paid for by the Department of Agriculture.

Mr Murphy was also highly critical of the announcement that the Department of Agriculture's Regional Veterinary Laboratories (RVL) are to move to a 23% VAT rate from March 31 as well as introducing a waste disposal fee in addition to the existing post mortem fee. He said anything that would discourage farmers from using the RVLs was negative and he pointed out that when all the new charges and increases were totalled it was now apparent that the overall charge to farmers availing of the RVLs had effectively trebled over a relatively short period.

He described this trend as lamentable and very short-sighted given that ensuring the health of the national herd was, or at least should be, a national priority.


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