A Co. Down man has pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to provide a Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) sample from animals on his farm.
Michael McVerry was convicted yesterday (July 19) at Newry Magistrates Court of one charge of failure to provide a BVD sample from animals.
McVerry pleaded guilty and was fined £500 plus a £15 offender levy.
The case arose following the monitoring of compliance with the testing requirements of the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Eradication Scheme Order (NI) 2016, and subsequent enforcement action against those herds with large numbers of untested animals.
DAERA has stated that herds with significant numbers of untested animals born since March 1, 2016 (when compulsory testing commenced) will be contacted and given 30 days to have these animals tested. Failure to do so may result in prosecution.
Chief veterinary officer, Dr. Robert Huey, said:
Since testing became compulsory we have seen a significant drop in the prevalence of BVD, however, it is disappointing that a small number of herd keepers continue to keep untested animals.
"Some of these are likely to be persistently infected with BVD virus so they are a disease risk, both to the current herd and to neighbouring herds.”
He continued: “BVD eradication is dependent on herd keepers being aware of the status of their animals and taking appropriate action.
"The department has a responsibility to ensure the legislation is adhered to and we will seek to enforce this through the courts if necessary.”