IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to stand firm on the outright rejection of the proposal in the new EU Animal Health Law Delegated Act to impose 30-day pre-movement testing for TB on all herds that are more than six months tested.
He said the only beneficiaries of this proposal will be vets and factories at the expense of farmers.
The IFA Chairman said this proposal is not scientifically based, will be a major impediment to the competitive marketing of animals; and could cost the Irish TB programme up to €20m a year.
Irish farmers contribute more than any other farmers throughout the EU directly to their TB programme and will not accept this additional cost burden and anti-competitive measure imposed on them that will not contribute to eradication of the disease.
The IFA Chairman said our newly elected MEPs also have a critical role to play in protecting Irish farmers from this unscientific, market distorting and anti-competitive proposal.
In the Delegated Act currently open for public consultation, the EU is proposing a 30-day pre-movement test for all animals from herds that are over six months tested, targeting the lowest TB risk herds in the country.
Pat Farrell said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and our MEPs cannot allow the EU to impose this anti-competitive market distorting expense on Irish farmers who already incur a disproportionate cost burden in the TB programme in comparison to all other farmers throughout the EU
He said this measure would have a huge distortion to the sales and marketing of cattle in this country and would impact very negatively on the functioning of our vital live export trade.
Pat Farrell also pointed out this requirement will impact severely on marts and throughput in mart sales as the additional costs and inconvenience will drive more farmers directly to factories, removing vital competition to the benefit of factories.
The IFA Chairman said failure to have this issue addressed by our Minister for Agriculture and our MEPs is not an option. Only recently, our MEPs made strong commitments of support to farmers in return for their vote. Farmers will measure these commitments on how this issue is resolved.