Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (340)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

340. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of incidents of bovine tuberculosis recorded in each of the past ten years to date; the extent to which the causes of outbreaks have been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7751/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The table below details the number of herds experiencing a new restriction, due to bovine TB, since 1st January each year, by county over the past 10 years to date and the number of reactors related to these restrictions. While TB disease is low relative to historical levels, the number of new restrictions and reactor numbers have been gradually increasing since 2016. The pace of deterioration has accelerated in 2020.

The causes for the outbreaks of TB cases across the country within each county are various and require a range of actions to address the problem. Within each county the TB programme focuses on wildlife, how disease is distributed in the area, contiguous programmes, gamma interferon testing, cleansing and disinfection, testing compliance and frequency and isolation of reactors. Each TB outbreak is investigated by a veterinary inspector to identify the source of infection. In the case of every outbreak involving two or more standard reactors, there is a veterinary visit to advise the herdowner on how to eliminate infection and necessary measures to assist in reducing the risk of recurrence.

My Department is engaged with all stakeholders through the TB Forum to ensure all aspects of recently launched new Bovine TB Eradication Strategy 2021-2030 are addressed to move forward towards eradication of the disease. This new TB Strategy and further information is available on www.bovinetb.ie.

Table