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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New TB testing rules: Max of €70 for breeding herds to cover costs

The DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) is set to provide a once-off contribution of up to a maximum of €70 to breeding herds in 2023 to help cover the cost of TB testing under new rules.

This, according to a DAFM spokesperson, is a “transitional” measure towards the implementation of Animal Health Law requirements for 2023, in addition to previously published arrangements in relation to the introduction of Animal Health Law on February 1st, 2023.

The DAFM is to make the funding available to breeding herds which “need to carry out required necessary additional testing on cows of any age or males over 36 months moved from one breeding herd to another breeding herd”.

According to a statement from the DAFM, a breeding herd is defined as a herd with a birth registered in 2023.

Previously, That’s Farming published an article on the new TB testing rules, which came into effect on February 1st, 2023.

One month ago, the next European Union regulations regarding bovine TB, which require all animals moving farm to farm or through marts to be tested within a certain time frame, came into effect into Ireland.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine agreed to introduce new mandatory TB testing requirements on a “phased basis” in line with the EU Animal Health Law Regulations 2016\429.

What the new rules mean

Over the past number of weeks, That’s Farming has been inundated with queries from readers in relation to the new rules, which have sparked widespread confusion among some farmers, which led to the publication of this explainer.

Initially, the requirements under phase one, which came into effect on the above date, are that:

Cows of all ages and males over the age of 36 months that are moving farm to farm or through a mart must be:

  • TB tested in the last six months and
  • Moving from a herd that has been tested in the last six months.

If they do not fulfil both these requirements, they must then be tested:

  • Either within the 30 days prior to movement or;
  • Within 30 days after movement into the new herd.

Animals requiring a post-movement test

According to the DAFM, animals requiring a post-movement test:

  • Will be restricted immediately to the herd into which they have moved;
  • Will require a 30-day post-movement test;
  • Animals may be private tested or tested as part of other herd-level tests;
  • If not tested, the herd will be restricted after 30 days;
  • If, after another 60 days (90 days in total) and the animals are still not tested, a full herd test will be scheduled;
  • According to the DAFM, this allows the opportunity for cull cows to be purchased, fed and slaughtered without a 90-day window without the farmers incurring the cost of testing.


  • The DAFM states that these requirements do not apply to animals moving directly to slaughter or directly to controlled finishing units (CFUs).

Previous article on That’s Farming with commentary from Minister McConalogue on TB testing rules.

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