Animal Health Reports

Animal Health Council Report April 2021

Animal Health


  • The Implementation Group met on Tuesday 9th March. DAFM proposals on implementation of the objectives set out in the Strategy were discussed including the implementation of the EU Animal Health Law 30 day pre-movement test 
  • The next meeting of the Implementation Working Group will be held on Tuesday 13th April.
  • The 2nd meeting of the Finance Working Group has been arranged for Thursday 15th April 
  • The draft report of the Cost Benefit Analysis carried out by Grant Thornton was circulated to members of the Finance Working Group on 26th March 2021
  • IFA have sought a response from the Data Protection commissioner, through the Association’s solicitor, to our complaint in relation to the Herd Categorisation letters issued by DAM in August 2020. The most recent communication (received 10thFebruary) from the Data Protection Commission states that the matter is under review and that contact has been made with DAFM.
  • IFA have again set out the key areas that must be addressed in the TB Strategy.
  • These include:
    • The revoking of the new herd categorisation coding system which came into effect with the TB herd Risk letters.
    • The proposals for pre-movement testing
    • The need for an enhanced Wildlife Control Programme
    •  Better investigation and resolution of TB outbreaks
    • Fair Financial supports for farmers impacted by TB controls.
  • DAFM have acted on IFA’s request ensure all Badger sets are mapped in the Wildlife Control Programme to ensure effective implementation of the programme.
  • DAFM have contacted all farmers and provided details to identify sets on their lands to them for inclusion in the programme.
  • IFA advise farmers to provide this information to DAFM to allow for effective implementation of the programme to reduce the levels of TB.
CountyProvisional Herd Incidence 2020Provisional New Herd Restrictions 2020 Provisional Reactor numbers 2020
Cork North7.91%4273017
Cork South3.98%223941
Tipperary Nth6.89%2161390
Tipperary Sth4.89%1571154
Wicklow East9.31%95648
Wicklow West14.34%72592


  • IFA support the principle of achieving BVD Free Status in the proposed timeframe, recognising the benefits and the investments of farmers to-date in the programme
  • IFA ensured that farms where PIs are identified are allowed move animals under permit during the restriction period.
  • These movements are allowed to non-breeding outlets and to calf rearing farms that are non-breeding. In addition, movements out for contract rearing are also permitted. Movements to slaughter are not affected by the restriction.
  • IFA have raised the issue of poor communication and lack of information to farmers by DAFM when engaging with restricted herdowners. The tone and content of the herd restriction letter issued by DAFM has also been raised with AHI and DAFM and commitments on improvements secured
  • IFA are engaging with DAFM and AHI on the issue of calves from these restricted farms being rejected for export. 

Latest BVD Weekly Figures

Veterinary Medicines

  • IFA position remains that suitably qualified persons should be allowed to prescribe anthelmintic products.
  • The New EU Veterinary Medicine Regulation which comes into effect in 2022 has the potential to severely impact on competition in the supply of anthelmintics to farmers.
  • Under this Regulation anthelmintic products (doses) will become POM
  • There is a derogation in the Regulation allowing for Suitably Qualified Persons in Northern Ireland and the UK to prescribe these products.
  • IFA’s campaign is focused on the Minister for Agriculture and our MEPs to recognise the unique situation on the island of Ireland by facilitating the prescribing of these products by Suitably Qualified Persons in the ROI
  • The derogation that applies in NI and the UK must be provided to avoid putting Irish farmers at a competitive disadvantage and jeopardising the future viability of licensed merchant stores and veterinary pharmacies who play a crucial role in supporting farmers and rural economies
  • IFA are active participants in the National Antiparasitic Stakeholder Group chaired by DAFM where this issue is under discussion
  • The use of antibiotics will also be curtailed in this Regulation
  • Prescriptions for antibiotics will only be valid for 5 days
  • Prophylactic use of antibiotics will be limited, this will result in changes in particular to Dry Cow intramammary use
  • IFA made a submission to the VCI consultation on veterinary telemedicine’s. Telemedicine’s would reduce the need for unnecessary call out charges.
  • DAFM have initiated discussions on the use of electronic prescriptions 


  • The period for testing was extended to the end of January 2021 for the 2020 year
  • Infection rates are still very low.
  • The focus for 2021 is to encourage participation in the programme as participation remains very low.
  • Anyone contacted by DAFM in relation to a positive Bulk Milk Test should not panic and should seek information from AHI and their vet and they should be encouraged to join the programme. 

Proposed Compulsory EID of Bovines

  • IFA made a submission and met with DAFM officials to discuss the movement to compulsory EID of Bovines in October 2021.
  • DAFM highlight the benefits of compulsory EID for factories, marts, exporters, vets and DAFM inspectors
  • Figures provided by DAFM indicated 19% or 500,000 EID tags were purchased last year but only 5200 (6.5%) farmers opted to purchase EID tags
  • DAFM estimate the additional cost to be €1/tag set
  • The use of EID in Bovines is available voluntarily since 2016
  • This is not an EU requirement, this is a DAFM proposal.
  • IFA have sought further information and consultation on funding proposals from DAFM. 
Pat Farrell 
Anna Daly/James Walsh 
Policy Executives  
Tomas Bourke 
Senior Policy Executive  

Related Articles