DAERA to ban movement of untested BVD animals

Wednesday, 28 July, 2021

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging its members to take note that the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will be banning cattle that have not been tested for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), from being moved to slaughterhouses from 1 September. It will also be an offence to have possession of an untested animal that has been moved in breach of the BVD Eradication Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the BVD Order).

The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and applies to market operators and slaughterhouses as well as farmers.

UFU deputy president William Irvine said, “BVD is a highly contagious disease. It’s vital that herd keepers ensure all animals are tested within 20 days of birth or arriving on the farm, to not only protect their own herd but neighbouring herds too. It also ensures that not only are farmers complying with legal requirements, but that all animals remain eligible for slaughter for the duration of their lifespan.

“Should farmers be planning to move an animal or animals off farm, they need to be tested. We encourage our members to double check before any transition takes place, that they have confirmation of a negative BVD status before shifting cattle to another location.

“Huge gains have been made in recent years to reduce BVD across Northern Ireland and the UFU have been engaging with DAERA requesting the introduction of further measures in a bid to drive this disease to eradication. So far, farmer cooperation with the BVD programme has been excellent and we believe that with continuing engagement from farmers, and cooperation from DAERA, industry can look forward to the elimination of the BVD virus from the Northern Ireland cattle population in the near future.”

DAERA will issue letters to all keepers with untested animals to explain this policy change and highlight the animals in their herd which need tested. Food business operators will also be notified by letter.