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Farmer in court over 91 TB reactors

A farmer has appeared in court after failing to comply with a notice to isolate tuberculosis (TB) reactors.

Philip Thomas Gordon (26), with an address at Clay Road, Keady, Co. Armagh, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court on April 4th, 2022.

The judge handed him a fine of £500 and ordered the 26-year-old to pay a £15 offender levy.

Isolate TB reactors 

The case arose following a cattle identification inspection officers from DAERA Welfare, and Enforcement Branch conducted.

The court heard that he had not isolated a total of 91 animals, that had previously tested positive for tuberculosis, to prevent the further spread of the disease.

According to a spokesperson for DAERA, most herd keepers “fully comply” with the TB eradication scheme’s requirements.

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Current disease levels continue to “remain high” at a “considerable” cost to the public purse and individual herd keepers.

The spokesperson highlighted that it is “vital” that all stakeholders work together to reduce the disease prevalence.

They added that farmers must identify, isolate, and remove infected animals at “the earliest opportunity”. The aim is to minimise the risk to other stock in the infected herd and in neighbouring herds.

The current law requires herd keepers to isolate TB positive animals to prevent the spread of disease in their herd and neighbouring herds.

Also, the department must grant permission to move animals after a TB test has been started so that potential positive animals that show a reaction are not prematurely moved by a herd keeper in advance of being assessed on day 4 of their test.

Concluding, the spokesperson said:

“The actions of this herd owner and his failure to isolate TB positive animals clearly undermine the efforts of the farming community and the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs to ensure a healthy national disease-controlled herd and safe beef to sell on the home market and abroad.”

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