IFA animal health chairman, Pat Farrell, has welcomed the Department of Agriculture’s “understanding of farmers’ concerns” in the new TB testing protocols in level 5.
He said the farm group “discussed in detail” with senior department officials the need for flexibilities in TB testing requirements as government controls intensified.
Flexibility to delay tests
“The Department’s response is balanced and reasonable. It provides farmers who have COVID-19 concerns the flexibility to delay tests, while at the same time allowing for a period of trade after the due date of the test,” he said.
TB test exemption for calves under 120 days
Farrell said the removal of the requirement to test calves up to 120 days is “significant”.
He believes it addresses the issue of close contact between farmers and vets at the time of testing.
Critically, he added, these animals will be eligible for internal trade up to 120 days of age without a TB test.