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Curbs on cattle herds eased as TB levels drop

RESTRICTIONS on cattle herds with TB have been eased as disease levels have fallen to their lowest level in years.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney yesterday announced changes to the TB eradication scheme, cutting red tape for farmers whose herds were affected.

The department will no longer take the passports of restricted herds or issue movement permits for healthy cattle as it can track them electronically instead.

The number of herds restricted fell from 10,000 in 2000 to just over 4,000 in 2011, lower than Northern Ireland.

Mr Coveney welcomed the reduction, saying the indications were that it would remain at that level this year. The easing of restrictions would save money and staff time.

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