Commenting on the announcement today by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to reconvene discussions in the TB Forum, IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Minister must ensure it delivers real change in the TB programme, including a withdrawal of the Herd Risk letters and a meaningful opportunity for farmer input.
The Minister made the announcement following a meeting with IFA last night,
“The TB Forum has been a failure to date and the new Minister must get a grip of the situation and start listening to farmers. There is no point in endless meetings where the real issues are constantly avoided,” he said.
The IFA President said the Minister and his officials should not underestimate the level of anger amongst farmers at the recent ill-advised blacklisting of farmers with the TB Herd Risk letters and the clear message to have these letters withdrawn.
IFA has consistently put forward proposals that focus on the real drivers of TB and that reduce the burden of controls on farmers. These must now form the basis of discussions.
“IFA will not support a continuous re-run of the TB Forum format that has already failed farmers. The Minister needs to take charge of the situation,” he said.