Accurate regional TB data ‘essential’ – ICOS

Ray Doyle, livestock and environmental services executive at the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), has said that accurate and specific regional data is “essential” in tackling TB.

He was speaking at the Farmers Charter Meeting in Portlaoise today, December 6, where attendees had the opportunity to put questions to representatives of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

It’s essential to have specifically accurate regional data available on the incidence of TB reactors to ensure their timely removal.

At the meeting, the department officials provided figures which showed that 56% of positive reactors are removed within five days, while a further 35% are removed between six and 10 days.

However, Doyle did not find these figures to be a realistic depiction of the situation on the ground.

“While these figures seem impressive at a national level, they are averages only, and significant variation could exist regionally,” he said.

Doyle went on to argue that: “We need to have accurate regional data so that we can use this to target and improve areas where there may be significantly longer removal times.

Rapid action across all regions and a more concerted approach by everyone in the chain of reaction will provide a quick win for the Department in relation to its goals for TB eradication.

Doyle stressed the need for TB positive animals to be removed from farms as quickly as possible “to ensure maximum thoroughness in preventing the further spread of Bovine TB”.

However, he added that the steps so far taken by the department in relation to TB eradication were positive.

“The department must also be complimented for its commitment, comprehensive approach and investments made to date,” said Doyle.