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Short communication
Herd owner experiences of the voluntary phase of a BVD eradication programme
  1. C. Devitt, MSocSc1,
  2. D. A. Graham, MVB, PhD, MRCVS2,
  3. S. Coughlan, B Comm, MBA, ACMA3 and
  4. J. O'Flaherty, MVB, MBA, BA2
  1. 1Glendalough, Co., Wicklow, Bray, Ireland
  2. 2European Studies, MEconSc Animal Health Ireland, Main St, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
  3. 3Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, Shinagh House, Bandon, Ireland;
  1. E-mail for correspondence: catherine.devitt{at}

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Challenges in eradicating BVD (bovine viral diarrhoea) include lack of farmer motivation, difficulties in encouraging compliance with biosecurity and testing protocols, and variations in opinions regarding responsibility to eradicate the disease (Gunn and others 2005, Booth and Brownlie 2012). A coordinated approach, industry support, farmer cooperation, achievable targets and effective communication can help support eradication (Lindberg and others 2006, Barrett and others 2011). Policy or legislative intervention is required when social pressures to eradicate disease are unsuccessful (Gunn and others 2005).

National action on BVD eradication in Ireland is coordinated by Animal Health Ireland, an industry-led, not-for-profit partnership to address the control of non-regulatory animal diseases endemic in Ireland through collaborative stakeholder action. In 2010, the eradication of BVD in Ireland was prioritised by industry and animal disease experts (More and others 2010). In 2012, the voluntary phase of an industry-led national BVD eradication programme began with the intention of progressing to a compulsory programme in 2013. Graham and others (2014) provide a comprehensive overview of the development and review of the voluntary phase. A web-based survey was conducted in mid-2012 as part of this review. The aim was to explore the strengths and weaknesses of components of the voluntary programme, and to use these results to assist with subsequent decision making and communications around the implementation of the compulsory programme. This body of evidence helped inform the decision taken by the BVDIG to progress to the compulsory programme that began on January 1, 2013 (Graham and others 2014).

Research ethical approval was granted by the University College Dublin …

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