The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) animal health chair Pat Farrell said TB continues to be a huge cost and stress for farmers and their families and eradicating the disease in the shortest feasible timeframe must be the objective.
In achieving this, he said measures must be scientifically based and practical to implement at farm level.
“Farmers have to be supported through the huge imposition of herd restrictions, where possible, and fully compensated for costs incurred and losses experienced where this is not provided,” he insisted.
As revealed by the Irish Farmers Journal on Tuesday, extra funding was announced for the TB programme under Budget 2022.
Farrell’s comments come in the wake of additional funding allocated for the TB Eradication Programme, along with €6m for the Wildlife Control Programme.
“[The] IFA had sought a doubling of resources in the wildlife programme as a key component in reducing levels of TB in the national herd.
“This additional funding must be utilised immediately to put boots on the ground to deal with the TB problems caused by wildlife on our farms,” he added.
Farrell also acknowledged the announcement to re-establish a deer management group to address the wide range of issues caused by the increasing deer population, including the threat of TB.
The IFA chair said the additional resources provided by the Minister are a significant first step in addressing TB levels, but added that they must be fully utilised and built on to resolve the issue of TB in the wildlife population.