Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that as of Sunday (November 13) a total of 2,704 cattle herds in the Republic of Ireland were restricted from moving cattle as a result of bovine tuberculosis (TB) detected in their herd to date this year.

The figures also outlined that as of the same date mentioned above, 20,200 cattle have tested positive for TB to date this year.

DAFM published a quarterly report on the National Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme disease trends and included in this is a map showing where the outbreaks are occurring.

The map below shows new restrictions placed on cattle herds in the past 12 months under the National Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme:

As the map above indicates, there are two regions in the country that appear to be worst affected by bovine TB.

A region in northeast Kilkenny and a bigger region encompassing east Cavan, north Meath and south Monaghan are the two worst affected areas as of the third quarter of 2022.

The areas highlighted in red have had between 51 and 128 cattle herds restricted as a result of TB detected in the past 12 months.

The total expenditure on bovine TB eradication at the end of quarter three of 2022 was €36,802,000. This marks a 1% or €232,000 decrease in spending on the €37,034,000 spent in the same time period last year.

Of this expenditure, vet fees accounted for €7,465,000. This figure is up 1% or €75,000 on the €7,390,000 spent on vet fees in the same time period in 2021.

According to DAFM’s website, the level of bovine TB has been rising since 2016. The increase in herd incidence since 2016 highlights the continued need of urgent action by all stakeholders.

The website also outlines that “there are encouraging signs” the efforts of stakeholders are having an effect. At the end of 2021, herd incidence was 4.33%, and at the end of the third quarter of 2022, herd incidence reduced slightly to 4.12%.