BVD Eradication Programme Gets Underway

18th February 2013

Over 160 vets and 400 farmers from across Northern Ireland have attended a series of BVD eradication information and awareness sessions funded through the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (RDP).

The sessions have been organised by Animal Health and Welfare NI (AHWNI), a new industry-led initiative set up to promote improved cattle health and welfare within Northern Ireland, and are aimed at informing vets and farmers about the benefits of dealing with BVD and highlighting the industry-led/Northern Ireland BVD eradication programme.

The awareness sessions aim to help make farmers and PVPs aware of the steps they can take to tackle BVD and the economic advantages of doing so.  They also cover the importance of on-farm biosecurity in protecting animal health more generally. The programme will now be rolled out at local level by PVPs for their livestock farmer clients.  As regular monitoring to ensure the disease is kept off the farm is an essential part of the programme, it is important that veterinary surgeons and farmers work together to ensure a robust BVD action plan is in place as promoted through the awareness events.

Speaking about the BVD awareness programme, the Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill, MLA said: I welcome industry moves to tackle diseases such as BVD, as these can have a significant impact on trade and competitiveness at farm level. In support of this, I am pleased that my Department in conjunction with AHWNI, private veterinary practitioners and our Rural Development Programme delivery partners, is delivering a programme through RDP to raise awareness about the benefits of eradicating BVD.”

The Minister continued, “I am encouraged by the attendance to date and I urge farmers to attend the forthcoming local events. BVD can only be tackled by cross industry support and I congratulate AHWNI for developing its voluntary BVD testing programme.   This BVD awareness programme and AHWNI’s initiative to tackle diseases such as BVD are both excellent examples of working in partnership for common aims and goals.”

The awareness programme is funded under the Farm Family Options measure (Axis 1) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and DARD. 

For more information please contact Ciara McDonald, Farm Family Options on 0845 026 7534.