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TB: IWT ‘supportive’ of department’s risk categorisation approach

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has declared that it is “supportive” of the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine’s approach to bovine TB in terms of risk categorisation.

In recent weeks, cattle farmers have received personalised herd test history statements and report, which, according to the department, “provide a simplified TB herd risk category for farmers, with herd-specific advice on how to reduce risk of TB”.

“Farmers are already provided with information in relation to their TB risk, but this new report presents this in a very much more user-friendly, detailed and practical form.” the department spokesperson explained.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the trust said: “We have always stressed that this is a terrible disease for farmers, their cattle, and the wildlife that suffer from it.”

“The current system is clearly failing, and a new approach is needed if we are to get on top of it. While risk categorisation will negatively affect farmers in a high-risk category, if the approach works in eliminating TB then surely it is worth the pain.”

“Farmers in high-risk categories should be given extra support to get them to the low-risk status. This can be done through extra testing and increased biosecurity measures. Farmers and department officials will need to play an active role in eradicating the disease.” the spokesperson concluded. 

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