Farm Ireland

Saturday 19 January 2019

TB reactor rate decline has stalled, new figures show

Martin Ryan

Farmers' hopes of a move to a TB test every second year has suffered another setback.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed to the IFA Animal Health Committee that the number of reactors in 2017 was 16,512, which was almost identical to the number in 2016.

Committee chair Pat Farrell said that it was disappointing that the level of reactors in 2017 had dropped slightly but the downward pattern had ceased again.

Farmers had been hoping that a continuation of the decline would strengthen the case for the introduction of second year herd round testing, reducing the cost of complying with the current requirements.

Mr Farrell said that the replacement of animal BVD tags remains a concern and the Department of Agriculture has agreed to investigate the ongoing issue.

The IFA has also asked that replacement of empty BVD tags be automated to reduce the delay for farmers wanting to sell calves.

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