Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Consultation
The Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has launched a public consultation on a proposal to introduce compulsory testing of bovines for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).
Diseases such as BVD impact at farm level through loss of production, but pose no significant risk to human health or to the national economy, and the impacts are felt primarily by individual producers. Animal Health & Welfare NI (AHWNI), an industry led body has initiated a voluntary BVD testing programme here in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2013. AHWNI and key industry stakeholders have asked the Department to consider introducing legislation to make the current voluntary programme compulsory to ultimately achieve eradication of BVD.
To allow for a more informed decision, the Department intends to seek the views of the wider rural community in particular from individual herd keepers.
BVD Public Awareness Sessions
The Department has organised a series of public awareness sessions in relation to the consultation on BVD and is keen to seek views of interested parties on this matter as it is essential that as many people as possible, particularly farmers, have their say on what should be done regarding BVD.
Six public awareness sessions will take place at various locations across the North. The proposed timetable is as follows:-
- Tuesday 3 September, Burrendale Hotel, 51 Castlewellan Road, Newcastle, Co Down. BT35 0JY at 7.00 pm
- Thursday 5 September, The Canteen Clogher Livestock Market, 44 Station Road, Clogher, Co Tyrone. BT76 0AQ at 7.00 pm
- Tuesday 10 September, The Main Hall Enniskillen College (CAFRE), 2 Mullaghmeen Road, Levaghy, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. BT74 4GF at 7.00 pm
- Thursday 12 September, Ringside Cafe Ballymena Livestock Market, 1 Woodside Road, Ballymena, Co Antrim. BT42 4HX at 10.00 am
- Thursday 19 September, Roe Park Resort, 40 Drumrane Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry. BT49 9LB at 7.00 pm
- Tuesday 24 September, Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road, Armagh, Co Armagh. BT60 4FR at 7.00 pm
These public consultation events are being hosted by DARD officials and should take approximately one hour, depending on public interest. Attendees will hear about BVD, the voluntary BVD eradication programme, the consultation process and potential legislative proposals regarding the compulsory testing of bovines for BVD. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of DARD officials and representatives of Animal Health and Welfare NI (AHWNI).
The awareness sessions offer a great opportunity for interested parties and farmers to learn more about this disease, what the proposed legislation may be, and provides not only an opportunity to listen to other points of view on this matter but to also have a say.
Farmers participation is a key element to the decision making process and farmers are urged to make every effort to attend and to complete a public consultation document before the official closing date of 27 September 2013.