£5m fund announced to tackle BVD in England

Beef and dairy farmers in England can benefit from a new £5.7m funding package to tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The money, announced by Farming Minister George Eustice today (21 June), will be available for three years through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and will fund:

  • One-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner
  • Discussion groups for cattle farmers to share best practice
  • Testing to see if BVD is active in a herd

See also: How a Welsh dairy farm achieve BVD-free status

The Stamp Out BVD project is being run by SAC consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College, which will recruit local vets to offer the programme to farmers.

According to Defra, the highly contagious disease costs UK farmers about £60m a year through its effect on farm productivity and profitability.

“This is a damaging disease that has a real impact on productivity, cattle health and welfare,” said Mr Eustice, who is attending the Lincolnshire Show today.

“This funding presents an opportunity for farmers to get help in tackling BVD, improving cattle performance and reducing cost and antimicrobial use.”

His comments were echoed by the UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, who said she encouraged farmers and vets to sign up to this “fantastic opportunity”.