Animal Health

Farmers Frustrated with BVD Funding Shortfall

IFA Animal Health chair TJ Maher has slammed the Department of Agriculture over their failure to deliver a comprehensive support package for the BVD eradication programme.

Reacting to the Minister’s announcement of €3.75m in funding for 2024, he said on- farm BVD testing costs are almost €10m per annum, significantly more than €3.75m. Since the BVD programme began in 2012, farmers have absorbed over €120m in testing and associated costs.

“The financial commitment by the Department is nothing short of an insult to farmers and fails to recognise the enormous effort and investment they have made in the programme to-date. It’s infuriating that the Minister for Agriculture couldn`t come forward with an appropriate package that would remove the cost burden on farmers as the programme approaches the proof of freedom phase,” he said.

This year farmers have had to face a price increase of 35 cent to the BVD test, coupled with the fact that post has increased from €1.05, when the testing became mandatory in 2013, to €2.95 in 2024.

Mr Maher described the payment of just €2.40/sample for a maximum of 25 samples per farm as insufficient, considering the phenomenal work they have done to get the BVD programme to the healthy position it currently occupies. 

“Farmers are rightly furious at the lack of Government support for the BVD programme.  AHI, but particularly DAFM, have a job of work to do if they want to restore farmers confidence in AHI’s shared funding model.  This funding announcement is nothing short of an insult to farmers and will leave them questioning the future role of the AHI model in tackling other diseases such as IBR,” he concluded.

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