TB blackspots: Over 3,800 herds locked up in 2017

Some 3,885 herds were restricted or locked up with TB at some point throughout 2017, figures released by the Department of Agriculture show. When compared to 2016, that’s an increase 5.5%.

In addition, some 17,266 reactors (test-positive animals) were identified nationally – up on the number witnessed throughout 2016. This translates to a herd incidence rate of 3.47% nationally, which is up from 3.27% in 2016.

Continuing on recent trends, the TB blackspots identified are once again located to the east of the country – namely Wicklow, Meath and Dublin. The counties of Waterford, Donegal and Mayo had the lowest herd incidence rates.

Providence-by-providence breakdown


Wicklow (west) recorded the highest herd incidence rate of 11.05%, with 61 herds restricted – at some point – of the 552 tested throughout the year.

Wicklow (east) takes second place with a herd incidence of 5.97%, whereas Longford had the lowest number of reactors and herd incidence at 73 and 2.21% respectively.


In Munster, the highest herd incidence rate was recorded in Cork (north) at 4.72%. This was closely followed by Tipperary (north) at 4.26%.

However, Waterford had the lowest number of herds restricted and reactors at 36 and 149 respectively.

Ulster and Connacht

Farmers in Cavan experienced the highest rates of TB in the Ulster and Connacht region. Of the 4,757 herds tested throughout the year, 263 were restricted due to the identification of a reactor.

In addition, over 1,000 reactors were detected in Monaghan, 975 in Galway and 507 in Mayo. However, Donegal recorded the lowest herd incidence at 2%.