‘You can’t keep going the way it is – stop’ – Moynihan

A Cork Fianna Fáil TD is urging the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and the Department of Agriculture to stop proceeding with the TB herd risk process in its current format.

Deputy Aindrias Moynihan raised the matter in the Dáil last night (Wednesday September 16) with Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

He said that farmers are very concerned about the ‘unsigned’ correspondence from the department about their herd risk for TB and that many feel it devalues the status of the entire herd.

Deputy Moynihan said: “The unsigned correspondence allows them to identify the TB status of other herd owners if they bought cattle from them and it also points out cattle that were in their herd the last time they had reactors and it suggests that they should be culled.

Speaking to AgriLand Deputy Moynihan added: “You can’t keep going as it is. Stop, take a look at where it is and if they need to take a step backwards – right, if they can progress – okay but you can’t keep going as you are. It needs to be reviewed.”

In the Dáil he questioned whether the move by the department was approved by any Minister for Agriculture.

“Farmers need to have confidence that this is not going to be mishandled,” said the deputy.

“If you’re seen to be at risk, it could interfere with the price of your entire herd. Information is never a bad thing but just the way this is being done seems to be wrong. It definitely needs to be reviewed, back to TB Forum if needed.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin responded in the Dáil stating: “I’ll have to discuss that with the Minister for Agriculture and I’ll ask him to make contact with you [deputy Moynihan].”

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has previously said that the TB Forum must ensure it delivers “real change.”

The IFA adds that it will not support a continuous re-run of the TB Forum format that has already failed farmers.