asked the Minister for Agriculture the procedure that is followed by his Department to ensure that all herd owners found to have reactors or doubtful reactors are guaranteed a 60-day test; and the advice that is offered to such owners whose herds have not been so tested.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cattle Reactor Tests.
Veterinary practitioners are notified by my Department of the dates on which retests of herds with reactors, or doubtful reactors, are due to be carried out. District veterinary offices have instructions to ensure that there is no unavoidable delay in the carrying out of these tests. Each affected herdowner should also contact his veterinary practitioner when 60 days have elapsed from the date on which the last reactor from a particular test was removed from his herd.
Do I take it then that there is no further check on the testing other than what the herdowner does or what you advise the herdowner to do?
No. The Department are anxious that tests would be carried out without delay. The number of complaints we get is relatively small so that the Deputy can take it for granted that the scheme is working quite smoothly.
My information is the opposite. That is the reason the question was put down. It would be of interest if the Parliamentary Secretary has any figures to indicate what he considers a very small number of complaints.
That is the position. If the Deputy has any specific cases in mind we will look into them for him.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary stating that every herd is tested after 60 days?
No, not at all; as soon as possible.
Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise how important it is, particularly if there is a headage payment due?
The Deputy can rest assured that most herdowners contact their veterinary officers long before the 60 days have elapsed.
But the tests are not carried out immediately.
If some vets do not carry out the tests promptly then it is a matter for the herdowner to change his veterinary officer, which he is entitled to do. As I say, the number of complaints is small.