The BVD FREE NI campaign was set up after recognising the need for training and support with regard to Tissue Sample Tagging for BVD following the announcement of the compulsory phase of the NI BVD Eradication Programme being introduced in Northern Ireland in March 2016.

The aim of the campaign is to assist herdkeepers in making informed decisions on firstly the best tag to use and then with training and support in the administration of the tags and the extra work that is needed after the samples have been taken.  Our aim is to remove all complexities from the process and make it as simple as possible.

BVD FREE NI is made up of a network consisting of Countryside Services, AI Services, local vets and merchants.  The idea is to supply a quality product and top class service in one complete package.  This province wide support network of sales and training support teams offer a one stop shop allowing  herdkeepers to carry out the necessary legislation with minimal stress and hassle.

The legislation

The voluntary phase of the Northern Ireland BVD eradication programme began on 1st January 2013 and becomes compulsory on 1st March 2016. The programme is based on testing ear punch samples collected by herdkeepers using official DARD tissue sample-enabled tags for BVD virus.  The programme is ran by Animal Health and Welfare NI (AHWNI). It is an industry-led, not-for-profit partnership between livestock producers, processors, animal health advisers and government. It is overseen by a board of directors.

While there is an additional cost to the herdkeeper for the BVD tags the overall estimated financial gains made by herdkeepers in eradicating BVD would outweigh these costs by a ratio of 10 to 1.

A number of herds have already started testing and are advised to continue this until they are told to stop by AHWNI.  For those who have not started testing we would advise that they purchase BVD tags with their next order.  For those with a stock of tags left on the 1st March do not panic as we can supply you with a non-official management tag to take your sample. If you need to order tags or further advice click here.