IFA National Animal Health Chair TJ Maher has said outlined that the inclusion of the IBR testing requirement in the National Beef Welfare Scheme by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) without adequate consultation is a significant breach of trust.
“The IFA has consistently advocated for a collaborative approach among all stakeholders, including DAFM and Animal Health Ireland (AHI), to address critical issues affecting animal health in Ireland. The inclusion of IBR testing in the National Beef Welfare Scheme and the lack of consideration for farmers concerns is the direct opposite of that,” said TJ Maher.
As part of the recently announced National Beef Welfare Scheme, DAFM have imposed a requirement to complete IBR testing in order to qualify for payment. IFA has already outlined its strong objection to the inclusion of this measure which is effectively a payment to service providers instead of farmers.
TJ Maher also expressed his disappointment with the public support offered by AHI to the IBR testing measure as it is directly at odds with the views of their stakeholders.
“AHI’s public commentary welcoming the inclusion of the IBR testing measure, despite our open rejection of it, is deeply disappointing. We are seeking clarity on how they arrived at a position that directly contradicts the concerns raised by farmers. The inclusion of this measure in the scheme also fundamentally undermines the agreed approach of all stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in relation to how non-statutory diseases would be dealt with in this country,” he said.
IFA are seeking a meeting with AHI to raise the concerns of farmers in relation to the issue.
“Credibility with farmers is vital for the success of all AHI Animal Health programmes. Farmers concerns must always be taken into account in relation to any animal health initiatives and its very disappointing that these were forgotten by both DAFM and AHI in relation to the inclusion of the IBR testing requirement,” he concluded.