Changes under new TB rules will better enable farmers with restricted herds to move cattle in and re-stock during a breakdown.
Farmers experiencing a TB breakdown can avail of this beneficial change from Monday, August 2nd.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, made the announcement on Friday, July 30th, 2021.
This is the result of new provisions under the EU Animal Health Law. It removes the previous requirement for a TB-restricted herd to have completed one clear herd TB test before cattle could be moved into it.
The minister said the provision had caused “considerable” difficulties in relation to farm management and business continuity during TB restrictions. He pointed out that farmers. whose enterprise involved purchasing store cattle, in particular, were impacted.
What is changing?
Under the new rules, a farmer draws up a risk mitigation plan for the restricted herd.
Once the Regional Veterinary Office approves of the plan, farmers can be permitted to introduce stock.
The plan should be “practical, pragmatic” and help the farmer reduce the risk of a recurring or prolonged TB breakdown in the herd.
Once the RVO approves the plan and the farmer implements it, they may move cattle under permit into the restricted herd.
Furthermore, he said the change will also benefit those farmers with non-restricted herds hoping to sell their stock to a purchaser whose herd becomes TB-restricted.
This change has been discussed at three meetings of the TB Forum Implementation Working Group.
The minister said:
“While a TB breakdown can cause immense stress for farmers and farm families, this new change will make it simpler for the business of farming to continue for restricted herds, while at the same time mitigating the risk of a prolonged or recurring breakdown.”
“This positive development, along with the success of the new policy on cattle which test inconclusive, again highlights the constructive role of the TB Forum and its Implementation Working Group, whose commitment and dedication is making a real difference in tackling bovine TB and protecting farmers and their cattle from the threat of a TB breakdown.”
Farmers seeking to take advantage of this new policy are advised to contact their RVO.