IFA Animal Health Chairman Bert Stewart has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to remove the pre-movement test for brucellosis which was the last remaining on farm required test for the disease. When combined with the cessation of herd testing, it is worth €6m in savings annually to farmers.
Bert Stewart said Brucellosis has imposed severe costs and hardship on individual farmers and their families and it is a significant milestone that the island of Ireland is now recognised as officially free of the disease. Farmers are no longer exposed to the costs of controls or the fear of an outbreak on their farms.
He said a significant benefit of the discontinuation of this test along with the direct savings for farmers is the availability of mart sales for female beef animals and cull cows without the prohibitive testing costs previously associated with their sale. This will provide a viable alternative outlet, improve competition and be of major benefit to our livestock marts.
The IFA Chairman said the huge progress made in achieving free status for the island of Ireland cannot be jeopardised and the authorities and industry must remain vigilant and responsible to protect it.