DAERA is advising exporters moving cattle to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) for breeding and production that they must now meet new requirements related to Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD). Cattle moving directly to slaughter will be unaffected.
The move comes after the European Commission approved the ROI BVD Eradication Programme. The ROI is expected to achieve formal BVD Free Status in 2023.
The BVD requirements of the Export Health Certificate (EHC), have to be met to export to Member States which either have an EU approved BVD Eradication Programme or have achieved BVD Free Status.
Cattle moving to the ROI for breeding and production must meet BVD requirements which depend on the pregnancy status of the animal, and may include additional testing beyond the statutory tissue tag test, and, in some cases, a period of at least 21 days in official quarantine.
Keepers who export cattle to the ROI, or indeed other Member States with an approved programme, need to consider the options on the EHCs and take action to secure necessary approvals in advance of exporting.
For example, an exporter who wishes to use the quarantine option will need to apply to DAERA for approval of an Approved Quarantine Establishment (AQE). The process for obtaining approval of the AQE will take time and exporters are, therefore, advised to contact the Department immediately.
Full details of the BVD pre-export requirements are listed on the DAERA website.
BVD vaccines play an important role in protecting breeding animals from becoming infected with the BVD virus and for many herds their continued use is recommended.
However, DAERA wishes to highlight to exporters that although BVD vaccinated animals are still permitted to move to the ROI, once BVD Free Status is achieved next year, they will no longer be eligible for export.
Anyone who may want to export cattle to the ROI for breeding and production needs to be mindful that BVD vaccination is likely to prevent trade in the future. Keepers are advised to seek advice from their Private Veterinary Practitioner.
Notes to editors:
- Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is a highly contagious disease which reduces the productivity and profitability of affected herds, as well as compromising animal welfare.
- The level of BVD in animals across Northern Ireland has fallen over 50% since the introduction of the compulsory eradication scheme in 2016. The Department continues to work with industry to drive down levels of this disease and is currently taking the necessary steps to introduce new legislation which will allow herd restrictions to be implemented. It is recognised, however, that further measures are required including development of a second phase of legislation to support the eradication of BVD.
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