BVD compensation scheme started for Northern Irish farmers

A compensation scheme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD)​ in Northern Ireland will come in to force from the start of next month, the government has announced.

As part of a £4m package, farmers will be financially rewarded for the humane removal of BVD-infected animals. The scheme is expected to operate after 1 February.  

Farmers can expect to receive £160 for a beef calf, £130 for a dairy heifer calf and £50 for a dairy male calf.

See also: Photos: How to badger-proof your farm

To be eligible the following criteria must be met:

  • The animal’s birth must have been recorded on the Animal and Public Health Information Service (Aphis), in accordance with regulation six of the Cattle Identification (notification of Birth, Deaths and Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  • The applicant must have fully complied with the requirements of the BVD-eradication scheme order.
  • The animal must have tested positive for the presence of BVD.
  • The animal must not been moved from the farm on which it was born.
  • The calf must have been humanely destroyed; and its death confirmed on Aphis within four weeks of receiving a positive BVD test result. An additional two weeks will be allowed where an applicant elects for repeat analysis of an initial positive result.

The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) stresses herd keepers are responsible for ensuring the death of the animal is confirmed via Aphis online or by MC1 form submitted to DAERA.

They also ask herd keepers not to assume the death will be recorded by the disposal agent or rendering plant.

Commenting on the move agriculture minister Michelle McIlveen said: “The EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid (EAA) package includes a scheme to incentivise the humane removal of BVD-infected animals, as well as schemes to improve pigmeat 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 on 16 January 2017 and will come into operation on 1 February 2017.

“My department plans to open the BVD incentivisation scheme as soon as possible after that date.”