From 1 January 2014 Scottish farmers will have to adhere to a host of new control measures as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The national, industry-led eradication scheme – which was first launched in 2010 – is now in its third phase and it is estimated eradication will save the industry £50-80m over 10 years.

Phase two of the programme has seen more than 90% of Scottish herds comply with mandatory screening. So far, it has been confirmed that 80% of the national herd has tested negative for the disease.

As part of the next phase of the programme, which will be introduced in the New Year, farmers will be restricted from moving animals infected with BVD and declaration of herd status will be compulsory prior to movement.

Those farms that have failed to test will also be placed under temporary restrictions, as part of new measures.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has given its full backing to the scheme.

Commenting, BVA President Robin Hargreaves said: “We have supported Scotland’s BVD eradication scheme throughout each of its phases and have championed this approach in other parts of the UK. Eradicating BVD will lead to increased production efficiency and better herd health that has the potential to save the cattle industry millions of pounds.

“Moving to a compulsory phase makes complete sense and we are urging our members to make sure they are ready to support their clients’ compliance with the new measures.”

Nigel Miller, President of NFU Scotland (pictured), said the measures were “a real step forward, adding: “There is wide spread support for the locking down of persistently infected (PI) animals to stop them moving and spreading disease – these are the real drivers of infection.”

More on this issue

 A look at the UL’s BVD strategy