IFA Animal Health chairman John Waters has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to provide the supports and incentives to farmers that are vital to the success of the Compulsory BVD eradication programme.
The IFA Chairman said the compulsory phase of the programme is underway which means all farmers have to participate in the programme. The study carried out by the Scottish Agricultural Colleges clearly established the suckler farmers will be forced to carry an unfair and disproportionate level of cost in eradicating BVD from the national herd. Combined with this, farmers are facing key management decisions as to how they will deal the PI animals identified on their farms.
“Achieving the objectives of the BVD programme depends on best practice advice being followed and the supports and incentives sought by IFA are essential to ensure this happens. A key component in the success of the voluntary programme was the incentives provided by the Minister, and these must be maintained and built on.”
“Farmers are making a significant investment over the next three years to achieve eradication of BVD from the national herd and it is vital the Minister for Agriculture supports these efforts in a real and meaningful way.”
IFA are calling on the Minister to continue the €100 payment for suckler cows whose calves are removed as PIs and the €15 knackery disposal cost payment, further targeted supports are also being sought for farmers losing over 10% of their calves as PI s and where the dam of a PI calf in dairy herds is identified as PI of €250/animal in both situations.
In the context of the investment being made by farmers, the cost of these supports and incentives is minimal and will be spread over two years for the Minister, but most importantly are critical to the success of the eradication programme within the stated timeframes, and protecting suckler farmers from a disproportionate level of costs.