Northern Ireland farmer tells of horrific cost BVD has taken on his pet business

The owner of the herd, whose name he does not want to be named, has lost more than a dozen calves this season.

Strong and healthy calves were with their mothers on grass when the positive BVD results were obtained. They were then placed in isolation until the farm vet could take blood samples.

The results of the analysis of these blood samples confirmed the disease, after which a culling was immediately arranged.

During this season, the owner of the herd lost more than a dozen calves.

Costs were high, with vet call-outs, re-sampling and disposal costs totaling £32 per calf – these costs on top of the loss of calves that could have been worth £250-£300 each if they hadn’t were infected with the BVD virus.

In total, the outbreak cost more than £4,000 based on the current value of the calves, but the loss is much greater when the potential value of the animals removed is taken into account.

It was also decided to vaccinate the herd, which will cost over £1,000 this year.

Financial costs are not the only loss in such a situation. It takes a farmer’s time, which is not always taken into account, and the difficulty of dealing with nursing cows that no longer have a calf.

Strong and healthy calves had to be culled.

Losing a year’s worth of profit from these cows and watching calves wean to the farm is emotionally draining for the farmer, rancher and family as a whole.

There are plans to introduce restrictions on herd size in cases where BVD-positive animals are kept. currently, DAERA does not inform farmers of BVD infection in neighboring herds as new legislation is required to allow this.

Industry, through the BVD Implementation Group, has called for legislation to include biosafety notices in addition to other measures that will accelerate progress in BVD eradication.

The BVD Implementation Group is a cross-industry organization convened by Animal Health and Welfare NI to further the planning and implementation of an industry-led national BVD eradication programme. Northern Ireland farmer tells of horrific cost BVD has taken on his pet business

Back to top button