Department refutes claims deer are to blame for massive Kerry TB outbreak
The Department of Agriculture has said there is “no link” between the spread of wild deer into south Kerry and the biggest outbreak of bovine TB in living memory in the area.
Dozens of farms are in lockdown and around 360 cattle have been removed for slaughter in an area between Kells and Caherdaniel in Iveragh, and investigations and are contintuing.
Extra supports for farm families are being sought for the area which until now has never had more than the odd reacto and never been a TB blackspot.
The finger of suspicion is being pointed at deer, as well as badgers.
In one of several emergency motions, Cllrs Michael Cahill and John Francis Flynn asked for “immediate clarification from the Minister for Agriculture and Food Michael Creed TD and his Department Officials/Veterinary Inspectors”.
The Department has now said “the evidence to date" supports the view that badgers have contributed to the spread of the TB.
“There is no evidence of any deer involvement in this outbreak at this time,” it underlined.
Badger capturing is now taking place to reduce the badger density in this area which had not previously been subject to capture and has not experienced this type of outbreak in recent times.