NFU Scotland backs plan for BVD eradication

NFU Scotland has thrown its weight behind plans for a national eradication scheme for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

In response to a Scottish Government consultation, the union has said that BVD is of such serious financial and welfare significance to cattle producers that it merits a Scottish solution.

It believes that eradication of BVD is realistic and potentially cost effective, but to achieve that would require a national scheme that is initially voluntary before being made compulsory.

NFU Scotland vice-president Nigel Miller said: “By responding positively to the Scottish government proposals, I firmly believe that we are well on the way to helping all Scotland’s cattle producers tackle the threat posed by BVD, reap the economic benefits that eradication will deliver at farm level and reach the worthy goal of seeing Scotland achieve disease-free status.

“Our members are ready to play their part in eradicating BVD and believe that an initial voluntary phase should be introduced as soon as is practical.  In addition, we believe that any Scottish government funding available to help with eradication should be used to support the costs involved in screening and testing for the disease.”

The Scottish government’s plans suggested that funding could be directed towards the removal of any persistently infected animals (PIs) identified during the initial screening of herds. 

The union said while removal of PIs is key to disease eradication, its members agreed that the financial incentive could be better used to support screening and testing.