Additional funding is now available for vets and farmers in Wales to help eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) from all cattle herds in the country.
Funding for youngstock screening has been extended to 31 March 2021 and more financial support is available to identify persistently infected animals (PIs) until the end of 2022.
The funding gives farmers and vets the chance to take advantage of the testing and prepare for potential changes to legislation next year.
With 78% of farms in Wales now free from BVD, additional funding will allow vets to conduct further testing, if needed, to protect this rate.
This increased payment rate for fourth tests will apply retrospectively from 27 April 2020. Any fourth tests conducted before the extension date – 1 September 2020 – will be honoured and paid for as part of the extended programme.
Historically, every herd that tests positive for BVD is eligible for one additional PI search, funded up to £500+ VAT through the Gwaredu BVD Programme.
The programme will now offer additional funding up to £500, taking the total available to £1,000 +VAT.
All additional funding to find PIs is designed to be used specifically for sampling costs only.
Gwaredu BVD urged both vets and farmers to take advantage of the funding while they can. More than 8,300 herds in Wales have joined the programme since its launch in 2017.
John Griffiths, Gwaredu programme manager, said: “The welfare and financial consequences are significant, with an approximate cost of £4,500/year for the average beef herd, and £15,000/year for dairy herds as a result of poor fertility, reduced milk yields, low daily liveweight gains, fever, diarrhoea and respiratory problems.”
BVD Free England has released its latest figures in the organisation’s mission to eliminate the disease from all cattle in the country by 2022.