Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell has called on the Department of Agriculture to speed up the process of reactor removal, following the introduction this week of an online system for farmers to accept or reject TB reactor valuations.

Farrell welcomed the new development on, but added that the removal of reactors in a timely manner is critical to keeping the spread of TB at bay.

“The process of removing reactors is frequently delayed by the valuation process and particularly so if a farmer appeals an initial valuation,” he said.

“The Department has set a target of its own to remove reactors within seven days of valuation, but we have seen this target missed on too many occasions.

“It is time now for the Department to make a concerted effort to hit that target each and every time,” the ICSA chair said.

“They have not been slow to place more and more demands on farmers, but this is something that is in their control, and we want to see results.”

He added that it was important for farmers to know that they can still appeal any valuation – whether this valuation is done in person by a valuer or done online - and this is a right that must be protected.