Changes under new EU TB regulations which will better enable farmers with restricted herds to move cattle in and restock during a breakdown, have been announced.
Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue said farmers experiencing TB breakdowns will be able to avail of this beneficial change from today, Monday, August 2.
The move comes as new provisions under the EU Animal Health Law, removed the previous requirement for a TB-restricted herd to have completed one clear herd TB test before cattle could be moved into it.
That provision had caused considerable difficulties in relation to farm management and business continuity during TB restrictions, particularly for farmers whose enterprise involved purchasing store cattle.
Under the new rules, where a farmer draws up a risk mitigation plan for the restricted herd, which is approved by the Regional Veterinary Office (RVO), they can be given permission to introduce stock.
The Department says the plan should be practical, pragmatic and helpful to farmers when it comes to reducing the risk of a recurring or prolonged TB breakdown in the herd.
Once the plan is approved and in place, cattle may be moved under permit into the restricted herd.
“While a TB breakdown can cause immense stress for farmers and farm families, this new change will make it simpler for the business of farming to continue for restricted herds.
At the same time it will mitigate the risk of a prolonged or recurring breakdown,” Minister McConalogue continued.
“This positive development, along with the success of the new policy on cattle which test inconclusive, again highlights the constructive role of the TB Forum and its Implementation Working Group.
Its commitment and dedication is making a real difference in tackling bovine TB and protecting farmers and their cattle from the threat of a TB breakdown”.