As part of the TB eradication programme, beef finishing herds, if they meet the necessary criteria, are allowed to avail of a special status, termed “Controlled Finishing Unit”. Where a herd meets the criteria to be regarded as a ‘Controlled Finishing Unit’ under the programme, the herd is restricted under the TB Regulations and a special official supervisory and testing protocol is established. Such herds are not exempted from testing, reactor removal or disinfection requirements.
Restricted Controlled Finishing Units are TB tested at least once a year. This Controlled Finishing Unit status arrangement allows the delivery of an effective level of disease risk management while controlling the risk of further disease spread in compliance with animal health legislation, and enabling business continuity in this particular type of enterprise through the inward movement of cattle. Cattle from Controlled Finishing Unit herds restricted under the TB Eradication programme are only permitted to move to a EU-approved slaughter plant.
As per data published on my Department's website, the number of cattle slaughtered at approved beef exporting plants in 2019 to 31st August 2019 which originated from Controlled Finishing Units was 212,500. This represents 17.94% of the total national beef kill in that period. The corresponding data to end-September 2019 is not available at present but will be updated and published on the Department's website https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/animalidentificationmovement/cattle/bovinebirthandmovementsmonthlyreports/) later this month.