Concerns raised over restrictive TB controls

Concerns have been raised by public representatives and farming organisations following the introduction of new, more restrictive TB controls.

Concerns have been raised by public representatives and farming organisations following the introduction of new, more restrictive TB controls.

Speaking at the recent Council meeting, Cllr Caillian Ellis said that he was extremely concerned over the impact of the new controls on, not just the herd owner, but on neighbouring properties.

He called on Leitrim County Council to write to the Minister for Agriculture and to IFA leaders to call for these new controls to be disbanded.

“It’s completely ridiculous and it will have serious repercussions for not just the herd owners which go down, but their neighbours as well,” he said.

His fellow councillors, Paddy O’Rourke, John Ward and Gerry Dolan also agreed pointing out that the segmented nature of farm land in Co Leitrim meant that registrations would have far reaching affects.

At a meeting with senior Department of Agriculture officials last week IFA Animal Health Chairperson, John Waters again highlighted the difficulties for farmers with the new more restrictive TB controls.

The IFA Chairperson said the Department of Agriculture “cannot systematically take away a farmers right to trade by imposing automatic restrictions”.

At the meeting, the Department gave a commitment that no contiguous herd will be restricted without a full investigation, including a discussion with the herd owner and if necessary a farm visit prior to a decision been taken.

The Department also committed to flexibility in relation to test dates so that farmers do not incur penalties or sanctions. In addition, the Department has agreed to review anomalies in relation to the payment for tests.

Speaking to the media following the meeting, Mr Waters said the validity period of six months for tests in contiguous herds remains to be addressed and must be applied and he said the Minister of Agriculture Simon Coveney must ensure his officials are not allowed impose trade prohibitive measures that are unnecessary on farmers.