Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 19 May 1987

Vol. 372 No. 10

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Veterinary Fees.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and food the amount of veterinary fees payable to veterinary surgeons in private practice for testing carried our under the bovine TB eradication scheme for the round of testing 21 April 1986 to 21 December 1986; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Under the bovine tuberculosis eradication scheme the round of testing which commenced on 21 April, 1986 continued until 30 March 1987. During that period veterinary practitioners were paid some £9 million in fees for testing.

In view of the information given by the Minister, can he guarantee that with fees of £20 million to be collected by way of levies there will be no difficulty in funding the full round of testing required to eradicate bovine tuberculosis?

I can assure the Deputy of that. Of the £30 million allocated in 1987 for disease eradication schemes we estimate that vets. fees will amount to £13.5 million, that is £12.8 million for tuberculosis and £0.7 million for brucellosis testing.

Now that the Department are collecting £20 million from the farming community for disease eradication, has the Minister any intention of giving them any say in the running of the scheme?

That is a separate question which, I understand, is coming up later. I will be very glad to expand on it then.

How does the Minister propose to eradicate TB from herds owned by people who are not in a position to pay the fees referred to?

I am not aware of any situation where people are not able to pay the fees referred to. They apply to milk at 1.1p per gallon and to cattle at £6.50 per head collected at manufacturing plants. I do not think there will be any question of not paying that fee.

That was an interesting reply. Is the Minister satisfied that there are no herds suffering from TB outside the categories he has described and, further, that there are no members of the agricultural community not in a position to pay the fees so as to complete the eradication of TB?

There will be adequate funding available to do a full round of testing and I would hope that with the new impetus in relation to eradication we will get the programme under way more effectively in the future.

Would the Minister agree that due to the full herd test not being carried out in the past there are now many herds which have not been tested for two years and that those herds should get priority in this round of testing?

I agree with the Deputy and I can assure him that those herds will be dealt with speedily. It is important that this round get under way and be completed as quickly as possible.