There were 196,022 TB reactors in Ireland in the last 10 years, new figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Last year was the year with the highest number of reactors, with 23,040 cattle going down with the disease.

The last time there were over 20,000 reactors was in 2010.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said that while disease levels are low relative to historical levels, the number of reactors has been gradually increasing since 2016.

“The pace of deterioration has accelerated in 2020,” he said.

Map of reactors by county

Cork had the highest amount of reactors, with over 28,000 in the 10-year period. It was followed by Clare with 15,168 and Tipperary with 14,952

The figures were released by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue in a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that outbreaks of TB within each county 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 outbreaks involving two or more standard reactors, there is a veterinary visit to advise the herd owner on how to eliminate infection and necessary measures to assist in reducing the risk of recurrence,” he said.