Clampdown on cattle farmers careless about bovine diarrhea

Bovine viral diarrhea warning.
Bovine viral diarrhea warning.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has vowed to clampdown on cattle farmers who are careless about bovine diarrhea.

The Chief Veterinary Officer for the North, Dr. Robert Huey, said compulsory testing has been in place since 2016 and that DAERA plans to take enforcement action against herd keepers who are in breach of testing requirements.

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.

Dr. Huey said: “Since BVD 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.”

Herd keepers can review the BVD status of their animals on APHIS Online or on printed herd-lists which are available from DAERA Direct offices, with any untested animals born since March 1, 2016 having a BVDU status.

A tissue or blood sample should be submitted from these animals to an approved lab for testing.