Ireland to be bovine TB free by 2030 under new Government plans
The Government has committed to eradicate bovine TB from the national herd by 2030, FarmIreland.ie can reveal.
Under its new plans the country should be free of bovine TB within 12 years and the Government has confirmed that it has decided to establish a stakeholder forum to achieve this goal.
It's also understood that plans are afoot to hold a public consultation on the matter, which is expected to be launched shortly.
Bovine Tuberculosis is a chronic, highly infectious disease of cattle and has come to national attention recently after an outbreak in Kerry. A pilot badger vaccination programme was announced in January this year.
Earlier this year, farmers on the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry were hit by what they called 'the worst outbreak of TB in living memory' with over 50 farms restricted.
Minister Creed said at the time that the most recent research findings confirm that vaccination of badgers can play a role in reducing the level of infection in cattle, but warned that it is not a 'silver bullet'.
That vaccination programme is targeting areas which have already been part of the field trials demonstrating the effectiveness of badger vaccination and is to be rolled out incrementally to other parts of the country over time, with vaccination gradually replacing the need to remove badgers.
Minister Creed said vaccination of badgers enabled Ireland move forward towards eradication of bovine TB in a controlled holistic way.