IFA Animal Heath Chairman Bert Stewart has welcomed the Department of Agriculture’s deployment of additional staff to process BVD support payments for 2014.
The Department has confirmed to IFA that BVD payments will now be issued over the coming weeks to all eligible herdowners. IFA has also secured higher additional payments for farmers who lost large numbers of calves as PIs and this additional payment will automatically issue with the basic payment to all herdowners meeting the criteria.
Bert Stewart said farmers have incurred huge costs in the BVD Eradication Programme, with those having to dispose of PIs taking on a disproportionate and unfair cost burden.
He said the unacceptable delays farmers have experienced in receiving their BVD support payments cannot be allowed to happen again. “Farmers who are eligible for supports are those that have taken a lead in the interests of not only the health of their own herd but of neighbouring herds and the success of the BVD Eradication Programme. These farmers cannot be expected to shoulder the cost associated with PI disposal and then have to wait up to 20 months to receive support payments.”
The Department of Agriculture must now provide clarity on the levels of support payments that will be available for farmers for the duration of the programme and ensure that structures are in place to facilitate the efficient payment of these supports, Bert Stewart concluded.