Minister welcomes positive start to TB Implementation Group

The new Implementation Working Group, which was set up as part of the Bovine TB Stakeholder Forum and chaired by Dr. Sean Brady, had its first meeting today beginning with a positive and constructive discussion.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has welcomed the constructive discussions on how to implement the actions in the TB strategy which will reduce the threat of TB to farmers.

He said: “The Bovine TB Eradication Programme is our largest animal health programme with over nine million individual TB tests carried out each year on more than 110,000 farms. Disease levels have been rising since 2016 and also pose a threat to our trade access, with trading partners regularly seeking assurances that our programme is effective.

“On a 12-month rolling basis reactor numbers have reached 22,137 and herd incidence has reached 4.19%. This means that in the last 12 months, 4,442 farm families have experienced the hardship and stress associated with a TB breakdown.

“That is why stakeholders must engage with the difficult and serious task of implementing the measures from the renewed TB Strategy as urgently as possible. This will reduce disease levels to the benefit of the farming community. I am pleased with the progress made today and I look forward to seeing the results of this group when they report to the Forum”.

A series of follow up meetings are now planned to progress the matters currently under discussion.