Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (231)

Eugene Murphy


231. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost and the number of outside research agencies contracted by ERAD in efforts to eradicate bovine TB in 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12453/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

€3.1 million was spent on TB-related research by my Department in 2017 and 2018. This relates to work undertaken by Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and University College Dublin.

It is critical that Irish TB eradication policy is guided by scientific research, as this ensures that the programme delivers protection to farmers and their cattle in the most effective way, with decisions underpinned by strong evidence and informed expertise. The Irish TB research community plays a vital role in this, investigating the specific challenges we face with TB in the context of Irish agriculture, ecology and epidemiology.

Many significant improvements in the TB eradication scheme over the years have come about thanks to the rigorous research carried out to address specific policy challenges and disease issues. My Department continues to have a very strong relationship with the Irish TB research community. The work carried out on TB research, funded by my Department, will continue to be essential to the eradication of bovine TB from Ireland.