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

Ireland is continuing to engage with the European Commission and is expected to have further talks with officials in Europe regarding proposals from Brussels to impose a 30-day pre-movement Tuberculosis (TB) test on livestock.

In a statement on the matter, a spokesperson for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed said:

“The delegated act – to become operational in April 2021 – is still undergoing scrutiny at commission level.

Ireland is continuing to engage with the commission and will be making further representation this week to the relevant commission officials in DG Sante.

“The minister notes the IFA’s comments and anticipates that the commission will carry out a public consultation process circa April 2019,” the spokesperson added.

The statement follows calls by the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) animal health chairman Pat Farrell for the minister to “strongly reject” the proposal.

Farrell said: “The imposition of this control on animal movements would impact severely on the normal trade for cattle and add enormous unnecessary costs to the TB programme.”

Proposals in the latest draft of the delegated act would require all herds that are over six months since a TB test to have a 30-day pre-movement test in order to be eligible for movement.

“Farmers are already at breaking point with the restrictions imposed on them by the Department of Agriculture in the TB programme.

“The suggestion that this burden could be increased for all farmers is unacceptable.”

Farrell said: “This measure is not scientifically based, will not contribute to the eradication of the disease and will add an enormous cost to the TB programme which farmers will not accept.”