NFU Scotland Backs Next Steps on BVD Eradication

SCOTLAND, UK - National Farmers Union Scotland has backed Scottish Government plans as the nation looks to eradicate the costly cattle disease, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).
calendar icon 3 August 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

In its submission to the latest consultation on BVD eradication, the Union has supported the following proposals:

  • To make it illegal to knowingly sell a persistently infected (PI) animal.
  • The introduction of a requirement to declare the BVD status of the herd or individual at breeding sales.
  • The geographically phased introduction of movement restrictions on herds without a negative BVD status. (Restricted herds would be able to individually test animals and move those with a negative result)
  • Once the movement restriction phase is in place, non-Scottish animals brought onto a Scottish farm which do not have a herd/individual status should be tested.

Commenting on the submission, Livestock committee chairman Rob Livesey said: “There is a real desire amongst the majority of cattle keepers in Scotland to see us make genuine progress towards eradicating this costly disease from our herds.

“Whilst there may be some debate over some of the details on the BVD eradication plans, this remains an industry led scheme designed to tackle a significant economic disease in cattle. In our view, it is a positive scheme that is committed to eradicating BVD from Scotland in a way that recognises the challenges involved.

“This consultation gives us the opportunity to legislate to stop movements of animals known to be persistently infected and therefore posing the greatest risk of continuing the spread of the disease. These animals are extremely infectious and this would be a great step forward in terms of disease eradication

“That should be backed by the introduction of BVD trading standards for cattle, that would allow farmers buying cattle to manage their risk and for herds free of BVD to gain market recognition of the effort they have made to stay clear of the disease.

“It remains a challenge to get the speed of eradication controls right and that may mean that movement restrictions are phased in geographically to recognise the differing levels of disease found within Scotland.

“Control efforts on BVD already undertaken in the North of Scotland and on many of the islands may mean that they are in a position to move to movement restrictions much sooner than a region such as the South West, where more time may be needed to put BVD herd plans in place.”

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