DAFM propose plans for stricter TB tests in high-risk herds in Ireland

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has outlined plans to implement mandatory TB testing for cattle, 30 days before moving out of herds with a high risk of TB, in its draft ‘Ten Year Roadmap to Reduce bTB and Drive Towards Eradication 2020-2030’.

The plan suggests that herds with a history of several breakdowns are at a higher risk of recurrence after testing clear, and that DAFM will provide enhanced support to these affected herds including a tailored TB risk management plan for each herd individually.

Cattle that come back with an inconclusive skin test will receive a blood test shortly after and if it is clear, blood testing will continue at regular intervals while the animal(s) remains in the herd.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) agrees that there is a need for enhanced support for herds with a higher risk of TB however, has stated that it will not agree to any of these proposals until all outstanding issues surrounding TB compensation and wildlife measures are dealt with first.

The DAFM will be holding meetings with the Stakeholders on the TB Forum to discuss the draft strategy.