Following a meeting between IFA and the Department of Agriculture on the recently-signed TB order, the Animal Health Project Team Chairman Bert Stewart called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to defer the introduction of the order, due to come into effect next Wednesday.
Bert Stewart said there has been a lack of meaningful consultation on the order. As a result, the Minister has signed into law a TB order that potentially exposes farmers to all the TB testing costs, prohibits the standard treatment of animals and legally establishes maximum compensation for animals. This outcome does not reflect the policy agreement in the existing TB Eradication Programme.
“While the Department of Agriculture offered to defer implementation of the medication aspect of the order for a period of six months, this does not address farmers’ concerns.”
Bert Stewart said only the deferral of the order itself will allow time for all issues to be addressed through full and open consultation.
The Department of Agriculture has agreed to a meeting in early April to discuss in detail the key changes that IFA has identified in order to reduce the cost burden on farmers. These include the purchase-in prohibition and income supplement rates.