Ulster Farmers’ Union, deputy president, Victor Chestnutt is encouraging livestock farmers to make sure they get into the BVD Incentive Scheme, which targets the removal of BVD infected animals.
Funding for the scheme is limited, but DAERA is offering financial support for the early removal of BVD positive calves. “This support is expected to be available up to the end of September, but to date, uptake has been modest,” said Mr Chestnutt. “For some time the UFU has been pressing for measures to encourage farmers to remove persistently infected (PI) animals quickly, This is about eliminating BVD from Northern Ireland, and with this financial incentive in place, those reluctant to cull PI animals have no reason to retain them.”
The UFU says anyone that has a BVD positive calf should use the scheme to help with the drive to secure national BVD free status. This will bring benefits for the entire livestock industry. “Our members wanted to see the funding from the EU Exceptional Adjustment aid scheme used to support animal health measures. They wanted to see programmes that deliver lasting benefits. DAERA responded with a scheme to facilitate the removal of BVD positive calves and we now want to see a greater and more enthusiastic uptake by farmers,” said Mr Chestnutt.