Calls for action after worst TB outbreak in living memory
The outbreak is being linked to badgers and deer locally
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed is to be asked to declare one of the most scenic parts of south Kerry a pilot area for the vaccination of badgers, and possibly deer amid the biggest outbreak of TB on farms there in living memory.
Two emergency motions were tabled and supported on Friday morning at the meeting in Killorglin of the South and West Kerry Municipal District. One called for immediate extra supports and for the Minister for Agriculture and Food to implement the pilot project in Iveragh.
Badgers enjoyed more protection than cattle on which whole families depended, it was stated.
South Kerry had never been a TB blackspot, and had had only the odd reactor, but a rise in deer numbers in the area along with dead badgers found in 2016 is being blamed.
As well as financial support mental health supports for the shock and stress experienced by farming families were not in place, the meeting in Killorglin was told.
Some 360 cattle have been removed for slaughter and more than 40 farms are in lockdown in Iveragh, in the area between Kells and Caherdaniel.
The herd numbers affected are more than seventy, and neighbouring herds are also restricted. The outbreak is being linked to badgers and deer locally.
The contribution of deer to the spread of TB on farms should also be properly assessed, the meeting was told.