Consultation on controlling BVD
A movement ban on Persistently Infected cattle is being proposed as part of plans to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in Scotland.
The next phase of the eradication programme kicked off today with a consultation into the latest stage of the scheme.
The consultation is seeking views on three proposals:
- A ban on knowingly moving or selling Persistently Infected animals, other than straight to slaughter (from February 1, 2013)
- A requirement that the BVD status of herds or animals must be declared before sale or movement (from February 1, 2013)
- Cattle from herds with a ‘not-negative’ BVD status must test negative for BVD virus before movement, other than straight to slaughter – no start date has been set for this proposal which may also be introduced on a regional basis
This is the third stage of a wider programme to eradicate BVD from Scotland. Stage one saw £180,000 spent by the Scottish Government on subsidised BVD testing, while under stage two all breeding herds must be screened for BVD by February 1, 2013.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“Across Scotland, farmers have been testing their herds for BVD. We want to help those who are free of BVD to stay that way, and to provide a greater incentive to those with BVD to get rid of it. From February 2013 we intend to make it an offence to knowingly move, or present for sale, a Persistently Infected animal. They’ve been called “virus factories”, and shutting down trade of these animals will go a long way to stopping the spread of BVD.
“As requested by industry, if farmers are to be able to safely source cattle, they need to know the BVD status of the cattle on the market, so we intend to require a BVD declaration to be made before sale or movement, other than to slaughter.
“Our eradication scheme has been jointly developed by industry, vets, scientists and government, but we need to hear what grass-roots farmers and crofters think. We have to know that these measures are what the industry wants, and that we are getting the details right, so I’d encourage everyone with an interest to respond.
“Eradicating BVD would increase the profitability of the cattle industry – by around £16,000 per year for dairy farms and £2,000 a year for other cattle farms - as well as improving welfare, reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions and giving a further boost to the reputation of our internationally respected cattle sector.”
Bovine viral diarrhoea