Bovine TB figures just released by the Department of Agriculture for the first quarter of 2024 show no signs of improving on 2023’s spike in the disease trends.

Some 30,332 cattle were removed as reactors during TB testing in the 12 months up to the end of March 2024, with the equivalent figure being below 24,000 at the same point in 2023.

The disease’s 12-month herd incidence stood at 4.99% at the end of March 2024 in comparison with 4.40% a year previous.

Herd incidence is a measure of the herds tested which go down with a new TB breakdown over a given period.

A 50% rise to €11.9m was seen in farmer cattle valuation payments over the first three months of 2024 on the same timeframe in 2023.

Entire cost

The entire cost of this element of the TB eradication programme came to €22.9m across the whole of 2022.

Vet fees and wildlife expenditure are both back marginally on their respective costs one year ago.