Cattle Keepers Urged To Comment On BVD Plans

SCOTLAND, UK - National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland has been granted a few more days to consult its cattle-keeping members, allowing more of them to have their say on Scottish Government plans to eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).
calendar icon 12 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

The deadline for responses to the consultation has been extended to 16 July to allow the views of those attending a series of meetings being organised by NFU Scotland to be taken into consideration. Beef and dairy farmers are also encouraged to provide written responses to the proposals, which can be faxed or sent to Union HQ before this date.

The Scottish Government is consulting on a strategy to eliminate the costly disease from the Scottish herd. The strategy would involve an initial voluntary phase followed by compulsory requirements to deal with BVD, giving the potential for Scotland to be BVD-free within a few short years.

NFU Scotland has been involved in developing this eradication strategy and, along with other stakeholders, has had input into the Government’s proposal. An effective strategy for eradication requires farmer agreement and support and the Union has been on the road for several weeks now to hear members’ views.

Several hundred farmers have already attended open meetings in Inverurie, Castle Douglas, Stirling and Ayr with further meetings in Perth and Campbeltown scheduled. In addition, many written submissions have been received at the Union’s head office.

NFU Scotland Vice-President, Nigel Miller said: “This is a genuine consultation on Scottish Government plans to eradicate BVD and our members have already provided valuable comments and suggestions to improve the proposals. I cannot stress enough the importance that every beef and dairy farmer takes the time to look at what is on the table regarding the eradication of BVD.

“Our series of meetings have been very successful and responses to our internal consultation have been good. We thank the Scottish Government for allowing us a few more days before responding formally to its proposals. That will allow the views of meetings in Campbeltown and Perth to be taken into consideration as well as allowing more beef and sheep farmers to send us their comments direct.

“We believe that BVD is of such serious financial and welfare significance to all Scottish cattle herds that it needs to be tackled in a positive manner. We think that eradication is realistic, and potentially cost effective, but only if the scheme is national, with an element of compulsion. We need to know if all beef and dairy farmers will support that kind of strategy.

“There is likely to be Scottish Government support available and we need to decide where such funding could be best focussed. There would also be a cost to producers in monitoring and removing BVD from their herds but that cost needs to be weighed up against the huge impact that BVD has on our beef and dairy herds annually and the significant benefits that eradication would deliver.

“Let’s have the debate as to whether that is a cost our cattle industry supports and I urge all cattle keepers to continue to feed in there views over the next few days.”

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