Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has announced three changes in 2013 brucellosis testing programme which will save farmers €3m in testing fees per annum.
The percentage of non-dairy herds required to be tested will be reduced from 50% to 20%; the age threshold for the pre-movement test will be increased from 18 to 24 months; and the one-sale brucellosis rule will be abolished.
Mr Coveney said that the changes leave only 20% of herds in the country subject to the annual round test. As a result of the achievement of officially brucellosis free status in 2009, the number of cattle to be tested in 2012 has fallen by about 2.8m, and will fall a further 550,000 in 2013.
He estimated savings to farmers in terms of reduced testing fees in 2013 will be about €13m per annum compared with 2008, the last year prior to the achievement of brucellosis free status.
He urged farmers to stay vigilant, particularly in relation to sourcing their stock requirements.
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