Government scheme targets removal of BVD infected animals

A SCHEME aimed at the removal of animals infected by BVD will come into operation within weeks, former Stormont farms minister Michelle McIlveen confirmed in her last day in office.

In November she announced a £4 million package of support for livestock farmers provided under EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid (EAA).

The package includes a scheme to incentivise the humane removal of BVD infected animals, as well as schemes to improve pig meat quality, manage soils and nutrients more effectively, and receive training in business planning and risk management.

The required regulations were made and laid in the Assembly earlier this month and will come into operation tomorrow. The incentivisation scheme will then be opened within the next few weeks,with Departmental officials currently finalising its operational details.

To be eligible for payment herd keepers must ensure that each animal meets a number of strict criteria, including that it has tested positive for the presence of BVD virus, has not been moved from the farm on which it was born, and has been humanely destroyed.

The rate of financial assistance which will be available is £160 for a beef calf, £130 for a dairy heifer calf and £50 for a dairy male calf.