Cork TD says tackling spread of TB by badgers must remain a Government priority

The spread of TB among badgers is linked to the spread of the disease among cattle and Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan believes the vaccination programme among badgers must be maintained.

Concubhar Ó LiatháinCorkman

More and more of the Irish countryside is being designated as vaccination zones to counter the spread of TB among badgers, which is linked to the proliferation of the illness among cattle, the Cork Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan has said.

The Cork North West TD said on Tuesday that he was acutely aware of the financial and emotional pain associated with TB in a farmer’s herd.

"I am pleased to see that badger vaccination is now an integral part of the Irish TB Eradication Programme.

"This follows over 15 years of research work using BCG vaccine to prevent tuberculosis infection in badgers, and scientific trials carried out between 2013 and 2017 that show that vaccination is no less effective than culling.

"I understand that every year more and more of the countryside is designated as vaccination zones.

"This is reflected in the numbers of badgers captured for vaccination in these zones rising from an initial figure of 1,937 badgers in 2019, to 4,698 badgers in 2020.

"This figure rose again in 2021 to 6,586 badgers, with a further 7,244 badgers captured for vaccination in 2022.''

The TD gave credit to the Agriculture Ministger, Charlie McConalogue for the progress achieved to date and said that we must keep making strides in this  areawith the ultimate aim of eradicating TB from the herd.