At a meeting with senior Department of Agriculture officials today Wednesday on changes to the TB controls John Waters IFA Animal Health chairman again highlighted the difficulties for farmers with the new more restrictive controls.
He said the Department of Agriculture cannot systematically take away a farmers right to trade by imposing automatic restrictions. At the meeting, the Department committed that no contiguous herd will be restricted without a full investigation, including a discussion with the herdowner and if necessary a farm visit prior to a decision been taken.
The Department also committed to flexibility in relation to test dates so that farmers do not incur penalties or sanctions. In addition, the Department has agreed to review anomalies in relation to the payment for tests.
John Waters said the validity period of 6 months for tests in contiguous herds remains to be addressed and must be applied.
Mr. Waters said the Minister of Agriculture Simon Coveney must ensure his officials are not allowed impose trade prohibitive measures that are unnecessary on farmers.