Additional funding is now available to support farmers and vets in eradicating bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) from cattle herds in Wales.
The Gwaredu BVD programme has announced that more funding is now available to support both young stock screenings and PI hunting.
Funding for young stock screening has been extended from 31 August 2020 to 31 March 2021, with financial support available to hunt PIs until the end of 2022.
Since launching in 2017, the programme has achieved successful results, with over 8,300 herds in Wales now taking part.
With more support now available, Gwaredu BVD now urge both vets and farmers to take advantage whilst they can.
With 78% of farms in Wales now free from BVD, additional funding will allow vets to conduct further testing - if needed - to protect this rate.
This increased payment rate for fourth tests will apply retrospectively from 27 April 2020.
Any fourth tests conducted before the extension date (1 September 2020) will be honoured and paid as part of the extended programme.
Historically, every herd that tests positive for BVD is eligible for one additional PI hunt funded up to the sum of £500+ VAT through the Gwaredu BVD programme.
John Griffiths, Gwaredu BVD programme manager, has urged farmers to continue testing for the disease as the welfare and financial consequences were 'significant'.
He said the disease costs an approximate £4,500 per year for the average beef herd and £15,000 for dairy herds.
This is because of poor fertility, reduced milk yields, low daily live weight gains, fever, diarrhoea and respiratory problems, Mr Griffiths said.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer further support to vets to encourage their clients to screen for BVD and give farmers additional time to prepare for the future in these difficult times.”
Aligned with the young stock screening extension, PI hunting financial support has also been extended and is available until the end of 2022.
The programme will now offer additional funding up to the sum of £500 for PI hunting, taking the total available to £1000 + VAT.
All additional funding for PI hunting is designed to be used specifically for sampling costs only.