The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) has committed to donating €30,000 to the Irish Veterinary Benevolent Fund (IVBF) per year.

The VCI, which is responsible for the regulation and management of veterinary medicine and nursing, signed a memorandum of understanding with the fund organisation, which was established to support veterinary professionals and their dependents.

The memorandum of understanding formalises an agreement between the VCI and the IVBF, which has been in place since last year.

The memorandum was signed this week by VCI president Joe Moffitt and IVBF chairperson Emma Tobin.

Commenting on the fund commitment, Moffitt said: “The supports offered by the IVBF are of direct benefit to the veterinary professionals on our register, and we hope our contribution will be of benefit to the organisation as it continues to provide a wide range of valuable support services.”

IVBF chairperson Tobin said: “This contribution will greatly benefit our organisation as we seek to provide Ireland’s hardworking veterinary professionals with the supports they need.”

The funds from the VCI will assist the IVBF in providing services for veterinary professionals, including financial supports and a range of mental health supports, as part of the organisation’s Veterinary Assistance Programme.

TB ‘risk letters’

In other animal health related news, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) animal health chairperson Pat Farrell has said that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s issuing of herd TB risk letters to farmers in response to the deterioration in TB levels “is a ridiculous and weak response”.

“The levels of TB in this country have risen to unacceptable levels when we should be seeing annual reductions,” Farrell argued.

The Department of Agriculture flaps around the edges with soft touch advice and guidance while failing to address the real drivers of the problem, which are beyond the control of farmers and within the responsibility of the department.

According to Farrell, the department staff costs under the programme equate to €6,750 per farm with TB.

“Farmers rightly expect a lot more than letters outlining their herd risk and effectively a devaluation of their animals,” he added.