at the Royal Welsh Show in July the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, announced that Welsh Government will give ‘serious consideration’ to the introduction of BVD legislation in Wales.
In Wales, since September 2018, cattle farmers have been able to access funds through the Rural Development Programme (RDP) for free BVD testing and follow-on hunts for Persistently Infected (PI) animals through the Gwaredu BVD programme.
the number of herds benefiting from BVD testing through Gwaredu BVD has now reached well over 7,000. However, this leaves around 30 per cent of cattle farms that have not yet engaged with Gwaredu BVD and may not yet know their BVD status.
the FUW welcomes discussions on a legislative approach which aims to reach herds that have not yet engaged with the voluntary programme and has considered the proposal with its animal Health and Welfare committee. Further consultation with union membership is required to make sure that any proposed legislation is fit for purpose.
Not only is BVD a welfare issue, but this disease can also cause a significant economic impact on affected farms. Infection with BVD can cost around £45 per cow per year in a beef herd and around £15,000 per year in an average 132 dairy herd.
the FUW continues to encourage its members to get involved in the Gwaredu BVD testing programme in order to safeguard and maintain the work already done by this programme.