Animal Health Reports

Animal Health Council Report July 2020

Animal Health


Revised COVID-19 testing protocol

  • DAFM has issued a revised TB Testing Protocol which comes into effect on July 1st.
  • The key change is the removal of the 28-day grace period after the test due date for sales.
  • From July 1st the normal herd suspension notices will issue.
  • Farmers with COVID concerns can still avail of the facility to have their test delayed without sanction. In these cases, contact will need to be made with the RVO prior to the due date for the test.
  • Calves under 120 days continue to be exempt from test requirements and internal sales of these animals continue to be allowed.
  • The protocol will be reviewed again before the 1st August

DAFM changes to the TB programme

  • The Department of Agriculture has recently implemented changes to the TB programme, without prior consultation with IFA.
  • These changes relate to inconclusive animals;
    • The removal of older inconclusives (inconclusives in the herd from previous tests) as in-contacts with compensation when a new Breakdown Down occurs
    • Where four or more inconclusives are detected at a herd test, they must be removed as reactors with compensation
  • IFA has requested a meeting with the Department to discuss the implementation of this approach
  • IFA has again highlighted the failure of the Department of Agriculture to address the shortcomings in the TB programme

2021 Programme

  • IFA will be meeting with DAFM to discuss the 2021 programme, including the 30-day pre-movement test and compensation schemes.


  • The substantive issue to be addressed in the BVD programme is the testing approach for 2021 and thereafter.
  • This will require detailed discussions with AHI as the EU Animal Health Law requires 18 months of no confirmed PI animals in the country in order to recognise freedom.
  • This brings into focus the objectives of the programme and the costs associated with achieving these objectives.
  • IFA sought a detailed analysis of all costs and benefits, both short and long-term, of the options available to progress the programme to allow for an informed discussion and decision on the future direction.
  • AHI have provided some of this detail at the last BVDIG including experiences in other countries.
  • More information is required to allow for fully informed discussions to determine the future direction of the programme

Latest weekly figures

Veterinary Medicines

  • IFA continue to pursue the facilitation of Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) prescribing Antiparasitic Products
  • IFA has succeeded in getting the Department of Agriculture to seek a facilitation for the provision of SQP prescribing of these products from the Commission.
  • Prophylactic use of antibiotics is prohibited in the Regulation which raises issues for the use of DC intramammaries in particular
  • IFA has raised the issue of DC intramammary use in the new EU Regulation with DAFM and pointed out the absence of feasible alternatives and the need to ensure the health welfare and productive capacity of animals is protected
  • Formal discussions have not started with DAFM on this component of the New Regulation

AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance)

  • IFA has secured a key amendment to the Department of Agriculture Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HPCIA) guidelines.
  • Products in the ‘Restrict’ category were only allowed to be used prior to sensitivity and culture test results where the condition was immediately ‘Life Threatening’ to the animal in the proposed document.
  • IFA has secured the removal of the ‘Life Threatening’ requirement and have had it replaced with ‘the health, welfare and productive capacity’ of the animal.
ChairmanPat Farrell
ExecutiveTomas Bourke

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