Beef Plan Movement denied access to TB 2030 Stakeholder Forum

The Beef Plan Movement’s request for inclusion in the Tuberculosis (TB) 2030 Stakeholder Forum has been turned down by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The movement – which now claims to have more than 17,000 members – was made aware of the decision following its first official meeting with department officials at the Backweston Campus, Co. Kildare, last Friday (February 15).

It is understood that the delegation from the group’s Animal Health Committee met with the officials for more than three hours where they engaged in “constructive” discussion on the movement’s 86-point plan to address ongoing concerns within the beef sector.

Eamon Corley, the national chairman of the Beef Plan Movement, reiterated the group’s opposition to displaying TB histories on mart boards.

The representatives were also vocal in their opposition to proposals from Brussels to impose a 30-day pre-movement TB test on livestock.

Also Read: Department to make case in Europe over TB test proposals this week

Michael Rafferty, the chairman of the group’s Animal Health Committee, said the movement also “challenged the department” on deer and badger programmes, which they claim “urgently need” further investment and focus.

Officials also informed us that our request to attend and contribute to the TB Stakeholder Forum has been denied.

“We asked for clarity as to whether this decision was made by the forum chairman or by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, but no response was forthcoming,” he said.

The forum is made up of: representatives from the department; farm organisations; the veterinary profession; the agri-food industry; and the farming and research communities, with the aim of eradicating bovine TB from the national herd by 2030.

“The beef plan movement believes the decision to lockout key stakeholders in this manner is wrong. It denies a substantial section of Irish beef farmers a proper voice at the forum,” said Rafferty.

As with all important consultations, progress through dialogue with all stakeholders is important. But this basic principle is being scrapped by the exclusion of the ‘Beef Plan’ from the forum.

The Beef Plan Movement has written a letter to Minister Creed and the forum’s chairman asking that they reconsider the “lockout” decision.