A complete package of ear tag sales, demonstrations, assistance and advice for compulsory BVD testing has been launched by Countryside Services.
As the deadline for compulsory BVD testing looms farmers need to plan the purchase of tags, and have a sound understanding of what is involved in collecting a tissue sample and the follow on process for testing.
To assist farmers Countryside Services recently launched the ‘BVD Free NI’ initiative to make it easier for farmers to comply with the new compulsory BVD testing requirements in Northern Ireland.
Ian McNeice, Managing Director of Countryside Services explains “We recognise that farmers may need assistance adjusting to the changes in tagging of new born calves. Our Caisley tags are very simple to use however care must be taken when collecting samples from new borns and attributing calves to the correct dam, as traceability is critical if a ‘Persistently Infected’ animal is identified within the herd.
He added “ The BVD Free NI initiative is a concerted effort by Countryside Services, veterinary surgeons, AI Services and a select number of merchants to assist farmers meet the 1st March deadline.”
John Edgar who farms with his father, Derek, at Scallen Road , Gargedis, Trillick is very aware of the advantages of BVD testing. He has recently completed a degree in agriculture at Queens University and commented “We started BVD testing over a year ago when it was a voluntary scheme. It is a disease that needs to be eradicated as it can cause a lack of thrive, lead to an increased frequency of cases of pneumonia and often the animals die before they reach maturity. But a bigger cause for concern is the fact that it is a highly contagious viral disease thus an infected animal can spread the virus to other animals on the farm. When you consider the current profit margins in farming it is important to reduce costs where ever possible.”
He added “We did have some problems with lost and damaged tags and the applicator was different for each ear. This prompted us to investigate the package that Countryside Services is offering. The Caisley tags are very robust and one of it’s main strengths is its extremely high retention rate.
David Vance from AI Services was very helpful in demonstrating the new tags to ensure we understood how to insert the new tags and successfully collect a tissue sample for testing.
He also advised on storage and forwarding of samples, and outlined the role of the veterinary surgeon in the event of a positive test.”
AI Services technicians across Northern Ireland have been specifically trained in demonstrating the Caisley tag and can advise on the sale of tags, the follow up procedures regarding sample storage, forwarding to the lab and the role of the veterinary surgeon.
To access the contact details for an Ai Services technician in your area you can visit www.bvdfreeni.com or alternatively contact one of the Area Managers whose contact details are listed below.
Mervyn Nelson – 07909972711 (Fermanagh / Tyrone)
David Dunlop – 07976605701 (Armagh / Down)
Gary Henderson – 07989346226 (Antrim / Londonderry)