The View from Northern Ireland: The purchase of the 100,000th BVD tissue tag today is “something worth celebrating” especially given that the Northern Ireland BVD eradication programme only got under way 10 months ago. 

This is according to Animal Health and Welfare NI (AHWNI) chairman John Thompson.

“The purchase of the 100,000th BVD tissue tag roughly equates to a tissue tag purchased for one in every five calves born this year and is evidence that farmers are being proactive and are committed to the eradication of BVD.

“Production diseases, such as BVD, are costly for farmers and also have the potential to impact on trade, which is why tackling them is of the utmost importance. Even with the impressive voluntary uptake of the current BVD scheme we would like to see the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development make BVD testing compulsory as without it, it will not be possible to eradicate BVD from our herds.

Thompson added: “It is crucial that Northern Ireland is not left behind when it comes to animal health. This is particularly important with regards to live export trade, which has been a considerable help to our beef industry in the past 12 months. We need to be sure our animal health standards are on a par with other countries, such as the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, where eradication schemes for production diseases are already well under way.”

Calves on grass. Photo O’Gorman Photography.