BVD Programme update January 2022


The conditions for freedom include having negative herd status (NHS) for 99.8% of all herds (achieved by more than 96% of breeding herds at the end of 2021) representing at least 99.9% of cattle.

Substantial progress has been made since the start of the national BVD eradication programme to the point where BVD Freedom status for Ireland is within reach.

Recognition of freedom would bring to an end compulsory tissue tag testing for the majority of herds.

For 2022 the aims of the BVD programme are:

  • Maximise the proportion of herds (including non-breeding herds) with NHS
  • Rapidly identify and resolve the small number of herds with positive/inconclusive results and minimise the risk of onward transmission of infection

To find out more about what this means to you, view the short video from AHI:

  • Tissue tag testing remains compulsory for 2022
  • Early testing of calves: Tissue tag-test all calves as soon as possible after birth
  • Remove calves with positive or inconclusive tissue tag results promptly to obtain the higher financial support from DAFM – Confirmatory testing/re-testing of these animals is no longer permitted

DAFM support:

  • BEEF HERDS: €220 for beef breed animals removed with a registered date of death on AIM within 10 days of the initial test, reducing to €30 if removed between 11 and 21 days after the initial test.
  • DAIRY HERDS: Dairy heifers and dairy cross animals: €160 if removed within 10 days of the initial test, reducing to €30 if removed between 11 and 21 days after the initial test. €30 for removal of bull calves within 14 days of the initial test.

  • Test animals of unknown status (including those born before 1st January 2013): At the end of 2021, around 3% of herds contained small numbers of animals without either a valid test result or the registered birth of a negative calf. The presence of these animals prevents herds attaining NHS, accessing lower cost testing and most importantly contributing to the national target of at least 99.8% of herds having NHS. It is a legal requirement to test all animals of unknown status, including those born before 2013. Isolate and remove all animals with a positive or inconclusive test result - re-testing is no longer permitted.
  • Herds need to be free for 18 months to obtain NHS
  • Prevent introduction of infection: New infections are often associated with transmission from other herds in the vicinity or introduction of pregnant dams. Review biosecurity to minimize this risk, with a focus on movement of animals (including pregnant dams), people (including farm staff) or equipment or contact across farm boundaries.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of buildings and handling facilities which may have been contaminated, as soon as practicable but in advance of the next breeding season
  • Immediate herd restriction: DAFM will restrict moves both in and out. While restricted, movements out of the herd to slaughter or non-breeding herds only may be granted on a case-by-case basis under permit by the RVO, provided that the animals move directly to their destination.
  • Neighbour notification: Neighbouring herds will immediately receive a biosecurity notification informing them of their increased risk, and on a monthly basis thereafter in the absence of removal of animal(s) with positive or inconclusive results.
  • Lifting of restrictions requires completion of each of the following three measures by a nominated trained private veterinary practitioner (PVP) beginning at least 3 weeks after removal of the animal with positive or inconclusive results, and fully funded by DAFM/RDP:
    1. Whole herd test. Blood sampling and testing of all animals in the herd.
    2. Epidemiological Investigation. Conducted under the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) within the Rural Development Programme (RDP).
    3. Vaccination of all female animals aged 12 months old and above by the nominated PVP.
  • Continued herd measures following lifting of restrictions:
    1. Continue to tissue tag test for a minimum of 24 months after the removal of the last animal with positive or inconclusive results.
    2. Continue the vaccination programme in the herd in the following year, with this again delivered by the PVP and funded by DAFM.
    3. Not sell any potential trojan female i.e. that was in calf at the time of birth of the animals with positive or inconclusive results until its calf has been born and tested for BVD.

Herds that had a positive or inconclusive result in 2021 are required to undertake a second round of DAFM-funded vaccination in 2022 of all female animals aged 12 months old and above. Reminders will be sent to the herdowners and their nominated veterinary practitioner.

First Published 10 January 2022

Tagged with: Beef Dairy


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