Farmers welcome continuation of amended TB testing procedures
Following discussions with the Department of Agriculture, the ICMSA has welcomed the decision to continue the TB Covid -19 procedures governing the movement of calves until April 1.
ICMSA Deputy President Lorcan McCabe said the extension was a welcome recognition that the amended procedures worked well and provided the degree of flexibility and safety circumstances required.
“The 120 days testing extension will give breathing space to farmers who may be impacted by Covid or simply isolating around the time of their expected herd test," said Mr McCabe.
"The option of not testing calves under 120 days is also welcome as it takes a level of worry from farmers. Under the extended protocols, calves aged 42-120 days can move to other herds once the herd of origin is not restricted. This extension will be a relief to those dairy farmers who sell calves in spring and will give them leeway at a very difficult time.
"It’s worth noting that if those calves are not tested in the current test, they will needed to be tested to move to other herds once these protocols lapse after April 1”, said Mr McCabe.
Mr McCabe, who farms near Bailieboro, added: "We must also remember that bovine TB rates are rising again and the testing of animals must continue to ensure that outbreaks are not made any worse due to delays in testing.”