Animal HealthAnimal Health Reports

Animal Health Council Report March 2021


County Provisional Herd Incidence 2020 Provisional New Herd Restrictions 2020  Provisional Reactor numbers 2020 
Carlow 3.38% 43 144 
Cavan 5.12% 234 1253 
Clare 4.54% 265 1580 
Cork North 7.91% 427 3017 
Cork South 3.98% 223 941 
Donegal 1.61% 82 317 
Dublin 7.74% 24 158 
Galway 3.24% 346 1191 
Kerry 2.62% 166 1200 
Kildare 4.44% 75 190 
Kilkenny 3.86% 111 370 
Laois 5.56% 144 819 
Leitrim 2.09% 59 164 
Limerick 2.80% 143 748 
Longford 3.26% 75 281 
Louth 7.32% 82 314 
Mayo 2.46% 211 725 
Meath 7.61% 269 1017 
Monaghan 7.09% 282 1189 
Offaly 5.62% 160 740 
Roscommon 2.78% 141 373 
Sligo 3.90% 130 408 
Tipperary Nth 6.89% 216 1390 
Tipperary Sth 4.89% 157 1154 
Waterford 2.79% 56 194 
Westmeath 7.14% 202 1210 
Wexford 4.59% 134 713 
Wicklow East 9.31% 95 648 
Wicklow West 14.34% 72 592 
Total 4.34% 4,624 23,040 
  • The TB Forum met on Thursday 4th February.  
  • The Finance Working Group is meeting Thursday 4th March – The Grant Thornton review of the Live Valuation Scheme is scheduled for discussion. 
  • IFA insisted that the Cost Benefit Analysis by Grant Thornton must be concluded to inform the discussions at the Financial Working group to establish the resources available for the programme. 
  • A TB Strategy cannot be agreed without clarity on the funding model and resources. 
  • The Implementation Group is scheduled to meet on Tuesday 9th March. DAFM proposals on implantation of the objectives set out in the Strategy will be discussed including the implementation of the EU Animal Health Law 30 day pre-movement test  
  • It was confirmed at the TB Forum that IFA can recommend a member to the Scientific working group. 
  • Farmers labour has been recognised in the strategic document for the first time, 
  • The TB Forum IG document for discussion is being reviewed by the committee. 
  • An effective wildlife programme will be essential in the new TB Strategy. 
  • IFA have again 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 10th February) 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. 


  • The enhanced BVD Programme began on January 1st 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 
  • The new programme involves: 
  • 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 and all females over 12 months are vaccinated whichever is later. 
  • Neighbour notification when PI’s are identified 
  • Two years of vaccination of all female animals over 12 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 12 months of age and the TASAH investigation 
  • 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 include sales for export 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 
  • An Post is putting a structure in place for BVD labs to raise and deal with issues as the occur after IFA notified AHI of postal service delays which are affecting delivery of BVD samples. IFA have asked AHI to raise the importance of an efficient Postal service for farmers in the BVD programme with the Minister for Agriculture 

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.  

Compulsory EID of Bovines 

  • DAFM have initiated a consultation on moving to compulsory EID of Bovines in October 2021. 
  • DAFM highlight the benefits of compulsory EID for factories, marts, exporters, vets and DAFM inspectors 
  • Figures provide by DAFM indicated 19% or 500,000 EID tags were purchased last year 
  • DAFM estimate the additional cost to be €1/tag set 
  • The use of EID in Bovines is available voluntarily since 2016 
  • IFA sought the details on the actual numbers of farmers who opted to purchase EID tags as this is a more accurate reflection of farmer demand. This information has not yet been provided 
  • This is not an EU requirement, this is a DAFM proposal. 

Pat Farrell 
Anna Daly/James Walsh 
Policy Executives  
Tomas Bourke 
Senior Policy Executive  

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