Speaking in front of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture on Bovine TB Eradication, IFA Animal Health Vice Chair Amanda Mooney called on the Department of Agriculture to move quickly and effectively to eradicate TB from the Irish herd.
Amanda Mooney said the enormous cost and burden on farmers must not be increased to ensure this is done, instead utilizing the tools already available and improving the system in place.
“IFA is demanding the eradication of TB from the national herd in the shortest feasible timeframes. However, this cannot be achieved by further increasing the already enormous and disproportionate cost burden imposed on farmers in the programme,” she said.
“The main contributing factors to TB spread can be addressed in a practical and effective way that takes account of the farming dynamic in Ireland and the critical importance of animal movements and live exports,” she added.
IFA have highlighted the following five key points as crucial in the attempt to eradicate Bovine TB in the herd:
- We must have the Wildlife Programme fully resourced to ensure the enhanced programme which has been agreed is fully implemented throughout the country.
- We must address the deer issue before it starts to contribute to disease spread at the same extent as badgers
- Farmers must be fairly compensated for the impact of the controls and animal losses on their farms
- The Funding model must recognise the full value of farmers contribution to the programme and include those outside the farm gate who are beneficiaries of the programme but currently do not contribute financially to it
- We are prepared to play our part funding improved financial supports for farmers. The Department of Agriculture must reciprocate this by providing the resources for an effective and efficient wildlife control programme and by paying for any additional testing required including the EU 30-day pre/post movement test.
“We have the tools at our disposal to achieve significant reductions in the levels of TB and ultimately eradication of the disease. While science is important and we must always seek to improve what we do, we cannot lose sight of the measures that have proven to be effective in the past,” Amanda Mooney concluded.