Animal Health Reports

Animal Health Council Report December 2020


  • DAFM issued a DRAFT TB Strategy document based on the TB Forum interim report for consultation with stakeholders
  • IFA have held two bi-lateral meetings of the Forum with the Department of Agriculture to discuss IFA’s proposals and the consultation document
  • Following these meetings IFA are awaiting further details of the proposals from the Department
  • 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
  • IFA have also raised concerns in relation to the proposed governance structure for the TB programme and in particular the lack of provision of meaningful farmers input to programme design and implementation
  • The Grant Thornton Consultation of the ‘Costs and Benefits’ of the TB programme is due for publication in the coming weeks
  • The next TB Forum meeting is scheduled for 1st December
  • 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

Latest TB Figures


  • AHI have presented proposals for an enhanced BVD Programme for 2021 with the objective of attaining EU recognised BVD Free Status for 2023 and discontinue Tissue Tag Testing
  • To achieve recognised Free status under the EU Animal Health Law a period of 18 months with no confirmed PI is required
  • To achieve this the enhanced programme is based on tighter controls where PI’s are identified
  • These include;
    • No confirmatory testing of PI’s 
    • Immediate removal of PI’s
    • Herd restrictions for a minimum of 3 weeks or until the Whole Herd has had a blood test for BVD whichever is later. 
    • Neighbour notification when PI’s are identified
    • Two years of vaccination with a live vaccine of all female animals over 24 months of age
    • A full TASAH investigation to identify the source of the virus
    • DAFM will pay for the Whole Herd blood test, vaccination of the females over 24 months of age and the TASAH investigation
  • IFA have had detailed discussions with AHI on this proposal
  • 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 have identified a number of issues to be resolved in the proposal to ensure its effectiveness and minimise the impact on farmers who identify PI’s 
  • These include;
    • Facilitating the movement of calves to non-breeding herds while restricted
    • Removing the requirement for a Whole Herd Blood Test in advance of the restriction being lifted
    • The compulsory removal of PI calves with fair levels of support
    • The provision of funding for the costs incurred when False Negative animals have been identified on farms.

Latest BVD weekly figures:

Veterinary Medicines

  • 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
  • Discussions have yet to take place with DAFM on this aspect of the Regulation.

Pat Farrell – Chair

Anna Daly – Policy Executive

Tomas Bourke – Senior Policy Executive

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