Animal Health Reports

Animal Health Council Report September 2020


TB Herd Risk Statement and Reports

  • The Department of Agriculture have issued TB Herd Risk Statements and Reports to all farmers
  • These reports identify the risk category of the herd for TB and includes information on the current status of herds where animals were previously purchased from raising data protection concerns
  • Over 20,000 herds are identified as High Risk
  • The reports also identify animals as higher risk on farms, including inconclusive and animals present in previous breakdowns in the herd and advise the removal of these animals
  • Some herds are advised to remove almost all of their breeding animals
  • In addition to providing these reports the Department of Agriculture advise farmers not to purchase from high risk farms, effectively publishing the TB status of farms and creating huge issues for farmers with higher risk herds in marketing their animals.
  • IFA have robustly objected to this approach throughout the TB Forum process and subsequently
  • IFA have called for these reports to be withdrawn and will be seeking a meeting with the new Minister for Agriculture on the issue as a matter of urgency
  • These reports were issued by the Department of Agriculture without any consultation with stakeholders
  • The content of these reports was not discussed with stakeholders
  • In addition to rejecting this approach by the Department of Agriculture IFA have set out detailed proposals for an enhanced TB programme to expedite eradication of the disease and reduce the cost burden on farmers (copy attached)

Revised COVID-19 testing protocol 

  • DAFM have issued a revised TB Testing Protocol which came into effect on September 1st.
  • From September 1st the normal TB testing requirements will resume
  • The 120-day testing and movement exemption for calves expires
  • 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.
  • IFA sought a continuation of the exemption of calves under 120 days from the test requirement and facilitation of internal movements of these animals.
  • The Department of Agriculture did not provide this facilitation
  • Permanently moving to a facilitation of exempting calves up to 120 days from TB test requirements for internal movements remains IFA policy


  • The future direction of the BVD programme is currently under active discussion with AHI.
  • Decisions taken will determine the testing approach for 2021 and thereafter.
  • This brings into focus the objectives of the programme and the costs associated with achieving these objectives.
  • IFA have met AHI and requested detailed costings of the various options available, including the impacts on farms in the event stricter controls are imposed on farms where PI’s are identified.

Latest weekly figures:


  • Discussions are on-going with AHI in relation to the potential for a national IBR programme

Veterinary Medicines

  • IFA continue to pursue the facilitation of Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) prescribing Antiparasitic Products
  • IFA have succeeded in getting the Department of Agriculture to seek a facilitation for the provision of SQP prescribing of these products from the Commission.
  • The Commission have not yet responded to the request
  • IFA have 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
  • IFA are progressing the development of a disposal system for farmers for unused veterinary medicines and containers
ChairPat Farrell
ExecutiveTomas Bourke

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