07 Nov 2013
MINISTER MUST RESTORE FARMERS’ FAITH IN BVD PROGRAMME BY RELEASING PAYMENTAnimal Health
IFA Animal Health Chairman John Waters has accused the Department of Agriculture of a breach of trust by denying farmers their BVD support payment. He said the reason given by the Department – that farmers did not return their application forms within 14 days – is adding an administrative timeframe when farmers had already complied.
John Waters said, “The BVD scheme in 2012 operated on a voluntary basis, with almost 10,000 herdowners taking part. This level of uptake in the voluntary programme was instrumental in facilitating the rollout of the compulsory programme in 2013. Therefore, the overriding objective of providing the supports to farmers for 2012 should be one of facilitation of payment where the Terms and Conditions of the BVD Programme were met, as opposed to administrative conditions introduced by the Department”.
The Animal Health Chairman said the Minister for Agriculture must intervene and resolve this issue. “The success of the BVD programme is based all on stakeholders working together. Denying payment to farmers on a technicality runs the risk of undermining the good work that has been done for the last two years.