Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (233)

Eugene Murphy


233. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if communication and counselling type courses are provided for PVP or officials who deliver the distressing news to herd owners in the event of a bovine TB outbreak; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12455/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In order to be authorised to undertake TB testing in Ireland, PVPs must sign up to certain terms and conditions with my Department which govern how TB tests are carried out. In advance of a PVP being authorised to undertake TB testing for the first time, they must attend specific training provided by DAFM. As well as covering the technical aspects of TB testing, the training also involves experienced DAFM vets providing advice to PVPs on how to communicate the disclosure of a reactor animal to a herd-owner.

Department officials who engage with herd owners in the event of a TB breakdown are experienced in this type of communication and are aware of the significant stress it can cause. Communication training is also available to my staff from the Department’s Learning and Development team.