The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has commended the work done by the TB Stakeholder Forum after attending the group’s 13th meeting.

Minister McConalogue said that most of the TB Eradication Strategy’s actions were implemented or moving towards implementation, as he acknowledged the stakeholders’ work in achieving this.

The strategy had been put into action by the minister in January 2021 and seeks to eradicate bovine TB by 2030.

“Most of the actions set out under the current TB Strategy have now either been implemented or are advancing well towards implementation,” said the minister after the meeting.

“I acknowledge the efforts of all our stakeholders in their collaborative efforts over the last year,” he said.

Stakeholder policies

Minister McConalogue said that the group’s work had informed the policies that are working to decrease the incidence of bovine TB.

“This forum’s recommendations are key to the development of policies that can help to further reduce and ultimately eradicate TB,” he commented.

“Some of the forum’s recommendations are already being implemented, such as the change in policy regarding inconclusive animals, additional support for wildlife control and badger vaccination.

“These are reducing the number of TB reactor animals which in time, will help reduce herd incidence levels. I urge the forum to continue its ambitious drive towards TB eradication in the coming years,” he said.

The effects of a breakdown

Minister McConalogue also recognised the effects that TB breakdowns have on family farms.

"There is an immense emotional as well as financial strain on farm families as a result of a TB breakdown,” the minister went on.

"We all know people who have experienced a breakdown in their herds, and the effects are terrible. I am fully committed to supporting the work of the TB Forum, working together towards the eradication of this disease,” he concluded.