A consultation on a proposal to introduce a compulsory scheme to eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) in Wales has been launched today (Thursday, June 30) and will remain open for responses until August 15.

The scheme proposed would require cattle keepers to test their herds annually for BVD and to take steps to isolate persistently infected (PI) animals, which spread the disease.

The overall aim of the scheme is to remove PI animals from Welsh herds, which will result in the gradual eradication of the disease.

Currently, a voluntary scheme is in place in Wales. It does not require the removal of PI animals from herds and they can also currently be sold on.

According to the Welsh Government, BVD cannot be eradicated without the removal of PIs from Welsh herds.

"We already have a very high take-up in the voluntary BVD scheme in Wales, and the next step to completely eradicate this disease here is to consider making the scheme compulsory," said Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.

“As a result of the high take up of the voluntary scheme, many cattle keepers will be familiar with the requirements of testing.

“Eradicating the disease will improve animal health and welfare and improve productivity on the farm.

“I would urge cattle keepers and all those with an interest in the dairy and beef industries to take part in this consultation."

Further information on the consulation and the details of the proposal can be found of the Welsh government website, where responses can also be submitted.