A new Deer Management Strategy Group has been formed.
The Bovine TB Stakeholder Forum held its 15th meeting this week at Backweston Campus, with the progress being made in reducing incidence rates being outlined.
Following the meeting, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said that he is "acutely aware" of the financial and emotional pain associated with TB breakdown.
"I am committed to further driving down TB rates," Mr McConalogue said.
"The collaborative model of the forum is making real and impactful progress; herd incidence is reducing this year, and farmers, vets, scientists, my department, and all other stakeholders continue to have vital roles to play.
Speaking on the implementation of the strategy he launched in January 2021, Mr McConalogue said that the forum's recommendations have been "key to the development of policies that can help to reduce and ultimately eradicate TB".
"Some of the forum recommendations are already being implemented, such as the change in policy regarding inconclusive animals, additional support for wildlife control, and badger vaccination," he continued.
"These are helping to reduce herd incidence levels. At the end of 2021 herd incidence was 4.33%, and at the end of Q3 2022 herd incidence has reduced to 4.12%.
"I would urge the forum to continue its ambitious drive towards TB eradication in the coming years."
Mr McConalogue also announced the formation of a new Deer Management Strategy Group, in collaboration with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to be chaired by Teddy Cashman.