DAERA extends TB consultation despite TBEP closing date passing

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced an extension to the closing date for responses to its TB consultation.

It invites public opinion on its response to the TB Strategic Partnership Group’s (TBSPG) ‘Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Strategy for Northern Ireland’.

The consultation period will now close at 23:59 on Monday, February 5, 2018 – four days later than initially planned.

Deadlines

However, despite the ongoing consultation into the measures, the department has already started recruiting committee members for the proposed Tuberculosis Eradication Partnership (TBEP).

The deadline for applications to join TBEP closed on Friday, January 26, 2018 – more than a week before the closing date for the consultation period. A public notice stated the board was due to come into effect on April 1.

Recommendations

Recommendations include the formation of the new advisory body along with a series of other measures, including: the formation of smaller local TB groups in several areas; the ending of TB compensation; and the suggestion that farmers pay for their own TB tests.

It’s planned that TBEP – the new body – will give advice to the chief veterinary officer and DAERA policy makers.

A spokesman said: “Given the significant and wide ranging proposals contained within the consultation – and following contact from some stakeholders – DAERA has announced the extension to ensure that anyone interested in this significant area has an opportunity to have their say.”

The consultation outlines the department’s response to the recommendations made in the TBSPG strategy across a number of key programme areas, including:
  • Management and partnership working;
  • Testing and processes;
  • Approaches to dealing with TB in wildlife;
  • Preventing TB spread and improving herd health;
  • Finance and funding of the programme;
  • And plans for future research into bovine TB.

You can respond to the consultation online.