Compliant farmers who have taken all the necessary steps in the eradication of BVD should not be forced to pay for the failures of the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and the shortcoming of the eradication programme according to Mr. Pat McCormack, Deputy President of the ICMSA. Farmers in good faith signed up to a three year programme, complied with the rules and now find, that due to the failure to address the retention of Persistently Infected (PI) animals born in 2012, 2013 and 2014, that the programme is going to be extended putting an additional cost on compliant farmers.
These failures have led to an extension of the BVD Eradication Program for a longer than anticipated time period and it is about time those responsible took seriously the issue of eradication and stop imposing additional costs on farmers who have fully engaged with the programme. The retention of PI animals on farms is the main issue in the continuation of tissue tag testing for at least one year and most likely two years and it is simply not acceptable that this issue has not been dealt with.
From day one, the measures in relation to the removal of PI’s have not been adequate from compensation to the notification of neighbours or indeed the notification of the farmers vet so that he/she could advise the farmer of the best course of action. Compliant farmers followed the recommended guidelines of the eradication programme and simply cannot be expected to continue to pay for testing unless the PI issue fully dealt as quickly as possible.
There is no doubt that the BVD situation has improved but a serious error has been made in relation to the policy on PI animals and it is the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to ensure the cost of compliance must be reduced substantially for all compliant farmers, concluded Mr. McCormack.
ENDS. 31 July 2015
Pat McCormack (087) 7608958
Deputy President ICMSA