Department to fund pilot deer fencing project
The Department of Agriculture is proposing to fund a pilot project on the use of deer fencing, designed to alleviate concerns of farmers in Wicklow regarding TB.
The primary aim of the project is to establish the efficacy of a particular type of fencing in preventing access to lands by wild deer, a spokesperson for the Department said.
“It is proposed to select one farm in the West Wicklow area, the location and size of which are optimal from the perspective of establishing the primary aim and the cost.
“The fencing will be monitored over a period of time along with the TB situation in the selected farm. The exercise is intended to be a proof-of-concept.”
Speaking to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture last week, the Secretary General at the Department of Agriculture, Aidan O’Driscoll said TB remains “a great national challenge”.
He said that the herd incidence of TB has declined from 5.9% in 2008 to 3.06% in 2016, as of October 10.
“The quality control measures introduced, including interferon gamma blood testing, have impacted significantly on disease levels, through earlier removal of reactors, and the significant reduction can also be attributed to the wildlife/badger removal programme,” he said.