UFU fully supports DARD’s proposal to introduce legislation to make BVD testing compulsory

Wednesday, 25 September, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union have submitted their response to DARD’s consultation on the proposal to introduce compulsory testing of bovines for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). The UFU also welcomes DARD’s acknowledgement that BVD is a growing problem for Northern Ireland, particularly as other regions have made significant progress towards eradicating the disease. 

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “The UFU fully supports DARD’s proposal to introduce legislation to make BVD testing compulsory as without it, BVD will never be eradicated from Northern Ireland due to herd reinfection.  We believe that the eradication of BVD from Northern Ireland is imperative.  Not only will it result in significant cost savings and improve production efficiencies at individual farm level but it will also ensure the maintenance of live export opportunities to countries where similar BVD schemes are already up and running.”

The UFU have also played a fundamental role in setting up Animal Health and Welfare NI (AHWNI) which was established last year in conjunction with cattle breed societies and vets to tackle cattle production diseases.  Harry continued; “We are encouraged by how well the voluntary BVD eradication programme which commenced 1 January 2013 has worked so far. However, it is imperative that we move on the planned BVD compulsory scheme on the 1st January 2014 as anticipated.  Failure to implement an eradication programme such as this one will put Northern Ireland on the back foot.”