The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) and bovine TB Stakeholder Forum, Implementation Working Group, have launched a new app to report badger activity.
They believe ‘Badger Activity’s’ development is “another important step forward” in tackling TB in Ireland.
In a statement, a DAFM spokesperson said that this app will “further enhance” its wildlife programme.
It will allow farmers to immediately report, to the department, signs of badger activity on their farms.
Badger Activity app
“Farmers using this app will help the department build its knowledge of the range and location of badger activity throughout the country, facilitating the enhanced implementation of the wildlife control programme.”
Minister McConalogue commended the IWG, the Scientific and Financial Working Groups and the overall TB Forum in working to reduce TB rates in cattle.
He said: “Since being appointed minister, I have been committed to tackling bovine TB rates.”
“I am acutely aware of the emotional and financial burden of a TB breakdown in a herd.”
“Only by working together can we see TB rates reduce. It is exciting to see the Badger Activity app come to fruition, and I commend the work of the IWG chaired by Dr Seán Brady.”
He said that each individual TB working groups and TB Forum are committed to reducing TB rates in cattle.
In Budget 2022, the minister secured a further €1m for the Wildlife Programme, which he views as an “integral element” of the overall TB programme.
“There is an energy and focus from me and my department as well as the TB Forum and its working groups in driving down TB rates.”
The following IWG members have welcomed the development:
- The Irish Farmers’ Association;
- Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association;
- Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association;
- Animal Health Ireland;
- National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The IWG encourages all farmers to download the app and to walk their lands looking for signs of badger activity.
An information video and leaflet on identifying signs of badger activity and advice on reducing the risk of TB from badgers to cattle is available on www.bovinetb.ie
The manual accompanying the app on the website contains photographic examples of badger setts, latrines, pathways, snuffle holes and paw prints.
“It is much easier to spot activity at this time of year when vegetation is dying back,” the DAFM SAID.
You can download Badger Activity from the DAFM’s website.