Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

76 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason he has not introduced a compulsory pre-movement cattle test when Veterinary Ireland has estimated that it would reduce present bovine tuberculosis levels by 10%. [19211/03]

The PPF provided that additional measures relating to movement control were to be considered in the framework of the animal health forum. These negotiations did not result in agreement to the introduction of such a measure. I am keeping this matter under constant review. If its introduction is essential then I will not hesitate to have it introduced.

While acknowledging the benefits of this measure my Department considers the predicted 10% reduction in bovine TB levels to be an overestimation by VI. For example, in 2002 a pre-movement test was carried out on 216,857 animals mainly for export and 103 reactors were dis closed resulting in the restriction of 103 herds. This represented 1.2% of all restrictions in 2002.