SIR, Re. BVD Eradication Scheme Consultation.

I am a longstanding critic of this awful attempt to eradicate BVD from the Scottish herd. I fully accept that herds which had undiagnosed BVD circulating have benefited but that would have happened no matter what process had been followed. But surely threats to remove single farm payments shows how poorly the scheme has performed overall.

I am contacting you to draw your attention to the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment which accompanies the consultation. In the section about Enforcement, Sanctions and Monitoring, is the information that: “Criminal offences are being created...The maximum penalty is a fine and two years imprisonment”.

This for a disease that doesn’t affect human beings, won’t kill off the national herd and has good vaccines which many, many herd managers use diligently to successfully protect their herds!

The Scottish Farmer: Herds which had undiagnosed BVD circulating have benefitedHerds which had undiagnosed BVD circulating have benefited

Also, I would suggest that increasing the antibody tests to a minimum of 10% of a herd is proof that those of us who have been arguing that the antibody test, in field conditions in Scotland, has such a high number of false positives and false negatives that it is unfit for purpose.

Maybe you could ask NFUS and QMS if they’re still part of the BVD Advisory Group and support the incarceration of farmers?

The real question is, would the unaccountable members of the BVD Advisory Group consider jailing a farmer, a success?

Yours faithfully, Margaret Taylor.