IFA Animal Health Chairman John Waters has welcomed the provision by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney of support for suckler farmers who identify more than one PI calf in the compulsory BVD eradication programme.
John Waters said IFA has consistently pointed out that farmers who identify PI calves are faced with an unfair burden of cost in the Programme, and has sought support for them. The success of the BVD Programme within the agreed timeframe relies on the early removal of PI animals from herds.
Farmers have committed to significant investment in the BVD Programme, based on the uptake for the voluntary programme in 2012, and compliance levels of 98% in the compulsory programme to date this year.
He said, “The supports announced by the Minister will reduce some of the burden experienced by farmers, and assist in achieving eradication of BVD”.
John Waters said the benefits of BVD-free status to farmers are estimated to be in excess of €100m annually. “In order for farmers to avail of the savings and improved returns, it is critical that we attain this status as soon as possible.”