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Additional funding available under Wales’ BVD eradication scheme

Gwaredu BVD announces the extension of their successful programme, which has the main objective to eradicate BVD from all cattle herds in Wales

08 July 2020, at 9:00am

Following a successful reprofiling of the Gwaredu BVD Programme in Wales and a consultation with the agricultural industry, additional funding is now available to support both Young Stock Screenings and PI Hunting.

As an industry-led initiative, the main objective to eradicate BVD from all cattle herds in Wales remains unchanged, with the extension allowing all stakeholders additional time to prepare for possible legislation changes in 2021.

Since launching in 2017, the Gwaredu BVD Programme has achieved highly successful results; with over 8,300 herds in Wales now part of the programme. With additional financial support now available, Gwaredu BVD now urge both vets and farmers to take advantage whilst they can.

Funding for Young Stock Screening has been extended from 31 August 2020 to 31 March 2021, with financial support available to hunt PIs until the end of 2022.

With 78 percent 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 (21 September 2020) will be honoured and paid as part of the extended programme.

Historically, every herd that tests positive for BVD is eligible for one additional PI Hunt funded up to the sum of £500+ VAT through the Gwaredu BVD programme.

Aligned with the Young Stock Screening extension, PI hunting financial support has also been extended and is available until the end of 2022. The programme will now offer additional funding up to the sum of £500 for PI hunting, taking the total available to £1000 +VAT. All additional funding for PI hunting is designed to be used specifically for sampling costs only.

John Griffiths, Gwaredu BVD Programme Manager said:

“We’re delighted to be able to offer further support to vets to encourage their clients to screen for BVD and give farmers additional time to prepare for the future in these difficult times.

“We urge the continuation of testing for BVD or those to test for the first time if they haven’t done so already. The welfare and financial consequences are significant, with an approximate cost of £4,500 per year for the average beef herd, and £15,000 for dairy herds as a result of poor fertility, reduced milk yields, low daily live weight gains, fever, diarrhoea and respiratory problems.

“From the Gwaredu BVD team, we’d like to say a huge thank you for your continued support and efforts to eradicate BVD in Wales. We’re here to support you and answer any questions you may have about the extended programme.”

The voluntary phase of testing for BVD in Wales ends on 31 March 2021. An industry paper has been submitted to Welsh Government for consideration of possible legislative support following this voluntary industry-led campaign. A consultation will take place in the Autumn where the industry will be given the opportunity to comment before any final decision is made.

For more information on the programme extension, please visit the website or contact the team at gwaredubvd@colegsirgar.ac.uk