The Welsh Government consultation on BVD eradication in Wales has now closed, we eagerly await the outcome. We will update this page and inform you of any developments as they are announced. The Welsh Government launched a public consultation in June 2022 on mandatory BVD testing to follow the success of the Gwaredu BVD voluntary programme, with the aim of eradicating Bovine Viral Diarrhea once and for all from Wales. The consultation summary is available here and will be updated by Welsh Government in due course. You can re-watch our webinar here where John Griffiths is joined by Stephen James and Dr Neil Paton to discuss eradicating BVD and common questions on the BVD consultation. If you have any questions on BVD or the voluntary programme, please contact the Gwaredu BVD team by clicking here. Why did the consultation happen? A Welsh Government Consultation took place to gather the industry's opinion on proposed legislation on BVD eradication in Wales. This is your opportunity to have your say and help shape the future of Welsh agriculture. It is proposed that the legislation will replace the voluntary Gwaredu BVD programme which comes to an end on 31 December 2022. Since 2017, over 9,000 out of the approximate 11,000 (83%) Welsh Cattle farms have participated in the Gwaredu BVD voluntary programme and 940 farms have engaged with PI Hunts, identifying 953 PI animals. This engagement with the programme by cattle farmers proves the industry’s overall desire to eradicate BVD from the national herd. Legislation will help ensure that farms with the disease cannot reinfect BVD free farms and protect the industry as a whole. Should legislation be passed, it would mean that Wales will join many of its European neighbours in working towards BVD freedom. Eradicating BVD from Welsh cattle farms will improve the reputation and support the global trading of Welsh farming.
What will it mean for Farmers? The final details of the legislation will depend on the consultation and so the information below is based on Gwaredu BVD’s recommendations to the Welsh Government, which is subject to change. If successful, the legislation will mean that every cattle farm in Wales will have to screen their herd annually for BVD. Gwaredu BVD have recommended that the legislation follows the Youngstock Screen testing method of the voluntary programme. Five bloods from unvaccinated animals between 9 and 18 months of age are used to test for the presence of antibodies which indicate whether a farm is likely to have BVD or not. It is likely that the cost of screening will be determined by each vet practice. It has been recommended by Gwaredu BVD that no animal is able to move from a herd unless that herd has tested negative or that individual animals test virus negative (are not PI animals). This will help stop the spread of the disease. For farms that test positive it is possible that all animals may need to be virus tested even if the farm has no intention of moving the animals except to slaughter. This may need to be documented along with other appropriate measures in a Herd Health Plan. What will happen to Gwaredu BVD and will my Gwaredu BVD status carry forwards? The voluntary Gwaredu BVD programme with free testing ends on 31 December 2022 and the legislation intends to replace this voluntary scheme with a permanent, mandatory scheme. The final details of the legislation will depend on the consultation. The proposed legislation recommends that a herd status is carried forward but this will be determined by the outcome of the consultation.
Understanding your current BVD status and your next steps Screened already in 2022? Negative - Great you have a current status and you're clear of BVD, you don’t need to do anything else. Remember to maintain biosecurity and share your status when selling. Positive - BVD may be active on your farm. Speak to your vet and conduct a PI hunt if recommended. Gwaredu BVD has up to £1000 + VAT of funding available towards testing costs until 31 December 2022. The sooner you start testing, the greater chance you have of completing the PI Hunt before legislation comes in. For more information on what your results mean, click here. Not yet screened this year? Remember to do so at your annual TB test this year or if you have forgotten or missed this opportunity ask your vet to conduct a youngstock screen the next time they are on your holding. Never screened with Gwaredu BVD? Get in touch with your vet to arrange a free youngstock screen. Eligible animal criteria can be found here. It is important that you have a current status (less than 12 months old). As Gwaredu BVD have recommended that legislation will be based on the results received in 2022. REMEMBER: Financial support for Free Gwaredu BVD Youngstock Screens and PI Hunt funding through the Gwaredu BVD programme will end on 31 December 2022. Can I respond to the consultation? The Welsh Government consultation on BVD eradication in Wales gathered industry opinion for 8 weeks and closed on 25 August, 2022 and we eagerly await the outcome. We will update this page and inform you of any developments as they are announced. When will we know if legislation is coming? What happens after the consultation phase? The consultation closed on 25 August, 2022. The Welsh Government will now deliberate the results before announcing the outcome publicly. If successful, the Gwaredu BVD team hope that legislation will come into force on the 1st of January 2023, meaning no gap between voluntary programme and the start of mandatory screening. Gwaredu BVD will share any progress and updates with the industry promptly.