Deer cull to take place in Wicklow as TB rates reach three times national average
A limited deer cull is to take place in Wicklow as bovine TB outbreaks remain an ongoing issue in the county.
A limited deer cull is expected to take place in Wicklow in the near future as bovine TB outbreaks remain an ongoing issue in the county.
At a recent meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee the General Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Aidan O’Driscoll said TB incidences of TB in parts of Wicklow stood at 11.9pc, compared to just over 3pc nationally and conceded that there is a problem in the county.
“We are talking to the Department of Arts in relation to deer and we have to have a limited cull in the Callery area working through the two Departments in the near future,” he said.
O’Driscoll also said there is a proposal to introduce a pilot deer fencing project and to undertake a more comprehensive deer study in the county as a whole.
"We said we would introduce this pilot project on deer fencing. We will see what it shows us. Deer fencing is expensive and difficult. But we get the message to prioritise it and we will certainly do it at an experimental level and see what we learn from that.
"Deer may be part of the issue in Wicklow, but my animal health experts would tell me though it’s not the whole picture by any means. Therefore a detailed examination of what’s going on in the Wicklow area is merited," he said.
However, O’Driscoll said nationally bovine TB herd incidence has fallen from 5.9pc in 2008 to 3.06pc in 2016 (to October 10).
He said this was on the back of quality controls measures which have impacted significantly on disease levels through the earlier removal of reactors and badger removal programme.
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