IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell said the revised TB testing protocol issued today by the Department of Agriculture is a practical amendment to the programme taking into account the current COVID-19 advice.
IFA had constructive discussions with the Department of Agriculture last week on the issue and the changes announced today provide clarity for farmers and vets on two key areas: the testing of calves under 120 days, and for people over 70 involved in TB testing.
The IFA Chairman said those farmers who want to test calves under 120 days in their herd are allowed. This is of major benefit to farmers who want to sell these animals later in the year and avoids the need at that time to have costly private tests carried out on small numbers of animals.
Pat Farrell said the revised guidance also allows farmers and vets in the over-70 category to be involved with TB testing if they wish.
The revised protocol extends the facilitation to delay tests; the exemption of calves under 120 days from the testing requirement; the facilitation of internal movements of calves up to 120 days; and the provision of 28 days grace period after test due dates where trade will be facilitated.
IFA continues to be in regular contact with the Department of Agriculture on this important issue to ensure the maximum number of farmers can continue to access the market place and trade their animals with the minimum of disruption.