All general TB testing should be temporally deferred in all flood affected areas across the country, according to Eamon O Cuiv, the Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson.

“Over the past months farmers in the midlands, west and south-west of the country have seen their land ravaged by a succession of storms.

“I’m being contacted with tragic stories of family homes and farms having been devastated and submerged under flood water and farmers are genuinely fearing for their future.

“Hundreds of acres of farmland as well as buildings are under water and farmers are desperately trying to move livestock from flood affected areas,” O Cuiv said.

The Fianna Fáil TD has said that as an interim measure, he is calling for the temporary deferral of routine TB testing on cattle herds until waters have receded from affected areas.

This, he said, is to give farmers breathing space to attend to preserving their stock.

“These farmers are due a much-needed reprieve after spending the past month fighting to save their livelihoods and this proposal would go some way to taking the pressure off them in the current situation.”

€2m fodder fund available to flood-stricken farmers

Flood-stricken farmers are able to avail of the new €2m Fodder Scheme, which opened on January 7, 2016.

It is to assist farmers who have suffered fodder losses due to the flooding.

Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that the scheme will target farmers impacted by flooding who will be offered support based on the replacement costs of fodder damaged on their holding.

“I have witnessed first-hand the significant difficulties and losses experienced by farmers in areas flooded in recent weeks.

“I am committed to supporting these farmers and in this regard Government have agreed to provide up to €2m for the new fodder scheme.”