Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (503)

Eugene Murphy


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.