Minister Gawne said:
'By introducing the BVD Control Strategy I am determined to give farmers the best start in their efforts to further improve the performance in their own herds and as a direct consequence, improve the Island’s animal disease status. I am delighted to hear that over 7000 tissue sampling tags have already been ordered by farmers, displaying a strong commitment on their part.'
Due to the extremely high numbers of cattle farmers who signed up to the strategy, representing almost 80% of total calves on the Island, DEFA will be running 2 workshops. It is essential that you contact the Department to book in for your chosen time as space is limited.
There will be a session at 2pm and another at 7:30pm. Richard Ashworth, Government Veterinary Officer will give a short presentation on BVD from a veterinary perspective. This will be followed by a practical presentation from Liam Egan, General Manager of Eurotags. Mr Egan will cover the application of the Allflex tissue tag on farms and also outline the voluntary BVD program carried out in Ireland in 2012. A question and answer session will follow.
The Department will have the tissue sampling tags available for collection at the workshop, together with specific TST ear taggers. We will also be offering new taggers free of charge to replace the blue ear taggers currently used. If you wish to exchange your blue taggers, please bring these to the workshop.
More information can be found on BVD Control Strategy on the DEFA website: http://www.gov.im/daff/animals/Cattle/bvd.xml
To book in for the workshop, please contact Agriculture@gov.im or +44 1624 685844.
Notes: BVD is a commonly occurring disease, which has serious financial implications for cattle producers and dairy herds. It is estimated that the total direct and indirect losses due to this disease amount to ~£750,000/per year within the Isle of Man national herd. In response to such large losses within the industry, the Department has developed a cost-effective strategy to allow detection and removal of Persistently Infected (PI) animals.
The control strategy utilises low cost, reliable tissue testing for PI animals during official identity tagging of calves and can be completed directly by the farmer. The strategy involves testing for 3 consecutive years, with a reducing departmental subsidy until May 2015, after which it is intended to make the sale of any PI animal unlawful. Cattle keepers may join the program in November of each year, when the annual tag supply is sourced from Allflex.