I propose to take Questions Nos. 414 to 416, inclusive, together.
The National Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Eradication Programme is an industry led programme delivered by Animal Health Ireland (AHI). The Eradication Programme has a legislative basis which is set out in S.I. No. 30 of 2017 the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Regulations 2017. This requires that all animals born on or after 1 January 2013 must be tested for the presence of the BVD virus.
My Department offers financial supports to farmers to encourage early disposal of Persistently Infected(PI) animals. Progress to date with the programme has been excellent and a very high percentage of herds comply with the requirement to test their calves. The incidence of (PI) animals has fallen each year from 0.66 % in 2013 where 13,877 animals were reported as PI animals, to 0.1% (2,391 PI animals) in 2017. The incidence of PI animals to date in 2018 is 0.05%.
According to the information available to my Department there are currently six PI animals, over six months of age, in six herds.