Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man cattle disease controls introduced

Government controls are being introduced in the Isle of Man to help eradicate a cattle disease which costs farmers about £750,000 each year.

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) can cause serious illness including reproductive failure for dairy and beef herds.

The legislation means all calves must be tested for BVD and restricts cattle movement unless animals test negative.

Agriculture minister Phil Gawne said the farming industry has shown strong support for disease control measures.

The move follows a voluntary scheme on the island which saw 66% of Manx cattle breeding holdings sign up to a voluntary tagging scheme (138 of 208 holdings) resulting in the testing and registration of about 7000 calves.

The scheme revealed only 55 infections (0.76% of all animals tested) on 14 different farms on the island.

Government Veterinary Officer Richard Ashworth said: "We are pleasantly surprised with the current results, the number are less than expected.

"However, this current situation brings with it the need to be vigilant and prevent BVD from entering the majority of farms that are fortunate enough to have little active disease."

More information about the legislation, which comes into force this month, can be found on the government website.

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