DAERA announces opening of scheme targeting the removal of BVD infected animals

Date published: 07 February 2017

DAERA have announced that a scheme to remove BVD infected animals is now open for claims.

The scheme, which will be delivered in partnership between AHWNI and the LMC, is open for claims from Wednesday 8 February. Farmers who may have an eligible animal will receive a claim form by AHWNI which must be completed and sent back to LMC. All details as to eligibility and how to claim will be included in the accompanying guidance.

The rate of financial assistance which will be available is:

  • £160 for a beef calf;
  • £130 for a dairy heifer calf;
  • £50 for a dairy male calf.

Payments will be limited to six animals per farm business.

To be eligible for payment, herd keepers must ensure that each animal meets the following criteria, i.e. that it had:

  • notification of its birth recorded on APHIS, in accordance with Regulation 6 of the Cattle Identification (notification of Birth, Deaths and Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999;
  • fully complied with the requirements of the BVD Eradication Scheme Order;
  • tested positive for the presence of BVD virus;
  • not been moved from the farm on which it was born;
  • been humanely destroyed; and
  • had its death recorded on APHIS in accordance with Regulation 8 of the Cattle Identification Regulations. For the purposes of the scheme death notification is considered received by recording the death via APHIS online or an MC1 document having been received by the Department. The record must be made on or after 1 February 2017 and no later than 30 September 2017 and;
  • not later than four weeks from the date the keeper received notification of an initial test positive or
  • not later than six weeks from the date the keeper received notification of an initial test positive result when a re-test has been undertaken.

DAERA is keen to emphasise that Herd Keepers are responsible for ensuring the death of the animal is confirmed via APHIS online or by MC1 submitted to DAERA. The Department would also remind Herd Keepers that they should not assume that the death will be recorded by the disposal agent or rendering plant.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Full details of the scheme, including the claim process and eligibility conditions, are available on the DAERA, AHWNI and LMC websites.
  2. The compulsory BVD Eradication Scheme was introduced on 1 March 2016. The scheme requires that any calf born on or after that date is tagged, and a tissue sample taken and tested for the presence of the BVD virus. The BVD Order sets out Scheme provisions, but does not give statutory authority to the Department for the use of tissue samples for any purpose other than BVD testing.
  3. On 30 November 2016, Minister Michelle McIlveen announced a package of four measures funded under the Northern Ireland share of the EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid (EAA). The package includes a financial support scheme to incentivise the humane destruction of BVD-infected calves. The legislation giving effect to the scheme was made on January 16 2017, and came into operation on February 1 2017. This includes powers for authorised persons to use previously submitted tissue samples for DNA analysis.
  4. Under the legislation, financial assistance will be available to herd keepers with calves that have tested positive for the BVD virus, which have not been moved from their herd of origin, and have been humanely destroyed with their death confirmed on APHIS within four weeks of notification of the BVD positive result (or six weeks when a repeat analysis of the test result has been carried out), in addition to complying with the Cattle Identification Regulations (NI) 1999. Calves must additionally be fully compliant with the sampling requirements of the BVD Order.
  5. Financial support will be capped at six animals per eligible farm business. Statistics from AHWNI indicate that some 11% of herds will be affected by BVD positives currently. Within this group of herds, statistics suggest most will experience only one positive. Indeed some 97% of all herds with positives will have four or less. Herds with a high incidence will be subject to extra checks as provided for in the legislation and explained in the scheme guidance.
  6. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni.
  7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
  8. For further information contact Siobhan Kelly at Siobhan.Kelly@daera-ni.gov.uk.

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