Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (503)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

503. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures he has put in place to confine outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis in areas of high incidence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12238/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Addressing area-based risk is a well-established fundamental aspect of the Tb Eradication Programme. As well as regular diagnostic testing, specific measures are targeted at mitigating disease spread in a local area. This includes initiating a wildlife programme to limit spread from wildlife to cattle. Contiguous testing is also carried out on herds that neighbour a breakdown.

In discrete areas of high incidence of TB, my Department puts in place a range of additional measures and can include a TB control plan to address the issue. These measures include:

- Strict enforcement of official controls and on-going review of current controls in place in the area;

- Increased frequency of skin testing in order to remove infected animals from the population;

- Renewed focus on wildlife activities;

- Enhanced communication with stakeholders so that any changes in policy and DAFM activities are explained to PVPs, farmers and farming representatives;

- Scheduling of gamma tests - Consideration is given to scheduling additional gamma interferon tests with formal notifications being issued to herd owners;

- Enhanced supervision of cleansing and disinfection of herds;

- A sample deer cull is considered if deemed necessary;

- Additional visits to PVPs and herd owners;

- Additional resources are prioritised to deliver the agreed performance targets;

- TB testing quality control.