The timely removal of positive TB reactors across the country is vital in the fight against the disease.
Citing figures from the latest farmers charters meeting on Thursday 6 December, ICOS livestock executive Ray Doyle said that a fast removal rate was “essential”.
Doyle explained that Department of Agriculture figures showed 56% of positive reactors are removed within zero to five days; 35% in six to 10 days; 5% in 11 to 15 days; 2% in 16 to 20 days and 2% in more than 21 days.
Overall, TB reactor figures have increased by 15% since this time last year.
"While these figures seem impressive at a national level, they are averages only and significant variations could exist regionally,” Doyle said.
Cost of scheme
He also raised concerns on the cost of the TB eradication programme annually for farmers.
Farmers contributed up to €32m of the €84m scheme last year.
If the disease is to be eradicated by 2030, as Minister Michael Creed has expressed he wishes to do, then up to €1bn will be spent by that time with little to no improvement rate if the disease continues on the current trajectory, according to Doyle.
He said that while they recognised the importance of the scheme, “it also represents a drain on scarce financial resources that could be better directed at initiatives that grow the broader agri-food sector”.
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