The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine will resume discussions on agricultural schemes, and the eradication and compensation of bovine tuberculosis (TB) today (Wednesday, December 14).

At today’s meeting the issues raised by stakeholders from the farming sector and their views on the Bovine TB Eradication programme will be debated with officials at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

Various agricultural schemes are also on the agenda for today’s committee meeting at 5:30p.m in committee room three of Leinster House.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, committee cathaoirleach, Deputy Jackie Cahill said:

“The committee met last month with stakeholders from the farming sector and heard their views on the Bovine TB Eradication programme.

“We now look forward to discussing the issue raised and related matters with the department officials, as well as the issue of compensation for farmers.

“We will also discuss the various agricultural schemes with the department.”

The Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine has nine members from the Dáil and five from the Seanad. The meeting can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV.

Bovine TB

At last month’s meeting, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) suggested that instead of farmers fencing deer out of their lands, the deer should be fenced into specific areas where they can be managed.

The TB eradication programme remains the single largest animal health cost for Irish farmers each year at a combined direct and indirect cost of over €55 million annually, the animal health chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), TJ Maher said.

Deputy Cahill previously said bovine TB cases in Ireland have increased annually, and at the same time the cost of the eradication programme to both the state and the farm sector is increasing.

He added that the programme is projected to cost a total of €1 billion up to 2030 if progress is not made with the eradication of bovine TB.

Representatives of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA); the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA); and Macra na Feirme also attended the meeting.