Cattle and sheep farmers express frustration over TB test regulations

Members of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association have expressed continued frustration over recent changes in TB testing arrangements.

Under new regulations, when two or more TB reactors are discovered on a farm, herds adjoining that holding are restricted, pending a clear test, if they have not been tested clear in the previous four months. Cattle can only be moved on or off the farm if they are being sent for slaughter, until the herd clears a test.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney heard about the frustrations while attending the ICSA’s national executive.

Mr Coveney pointed to a reduction in Bovine TB instances from 40,000 to 18,500 during the period 2000 to 2011.

He emphasised that restrictions will be examined on a case-by-case basis, and only herds which are identified as being “genuinely relevant to the breakdown” will be restricted.

ICSA rural development chairman John Barron said: “This clarification is to be welcomed. However, the fact remains that a TB breakdown in one herd has the very real potential to lock up several other herds, and possibly several parishes.”


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