The British Cattle Veterinary Association is advising its members to respond to a Scottish Government consultation on the third stage of its bovine viral diarrhoea eradication scheme in Scotland.
The British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) is advising its members to respond to a Scottish Government consultation on the third stage of its BVD (bovine viral diarrhoea) eradication scheme in Scotland.
The scheme is made up four stages:
- stage 1: subsidised screening – which ran from September 2010 to April 2011 and involved the Scottish Government providing £180,000 towards testing herds for the disease;
- stage 2: mandatory annual screening – which requires all keepers of breeding cattle to screen their herds for BVD by February 1, 2013, and annually thereafter;
- stage 3: reducing the spread of infection – where the Government is now consulting, proposing measures such as a ban on selling persistently infected cattle and restricting movement on herds that are not free of BVD; and
- stage 4: biosecurity controls – which could include the use of double-fencing or housing for those herds that have a persistent BVD problem.
The Scottish Government is keen to seek the opinions of those farmers and veterinary professionals who have a specific interest in the eradication of the disease.
For stage 3 of the scheme, the Government is consulting on its three proposals:
- From February 1 2013, it will be an offence to knowingly move a persistently infected animal (one that is born with the disease after being infected in the womb);
- from the same date, BVD status must be declared before cattle are moved or presented for sale.
- Individual animals from “not-negative” herds (those with BVD present after testing, including any ambiguous or inconclusive results) can only be moved if they have individually tested negative for BVD or are going straight to slaughter. The effective date of this proposal will be decided based on consultation responses.
The Scottish Government has said any responses given should carefully consider the details of the proposals, as every answer could have a direct impact on any legislation required to enable stage 3 of the scheme.
According to figures from the Scottish Government, the Scottish cattle industry could receive a net benefit of £50m to £80m over 10 years if BVD was successfully eradicated.
If you wish to respond to the consult, visit the Scottish Government website. The closing date for responses is August 17, 2012.