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Nov 30, 2022 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chair Hugh Farrell has hit out at the Department of Agriculture for stating that new TB testing regulations under the European Animal Health Law have been rolled out with the agreement of stakeholders. “I want to make it clear that ICSA has not agreed to this and that we could never agree to this until the financial responsibility of this additional testing was determined. This is a position we have stated time and time again at the TB Forum,” he said.

“It is very regrettable that the Department have taken it upon themselves to issue details of the new testing requirements without any mention of who is paying for this testing. I wish to stress that at no point has it been agreed that farmers would be responsible for paying for any additional compulsory TB testing requirements.”

Continuing Mr Farrell said, “ICSA has been consistent in its stance that farmers pay for one annual herd test – and one test only. As far as we are concerned this is a fundamental principle of the TB Eradication Programme, and it must be maintained. Unfortunately, once again we are seeing farmers being burdened with additional testing demands the finer details of which have not been signed off by the TB Forum, most notably who will pay.”

Continuing Mr Farrell said, “It is s clear now that Minister McConalogue needs to have an honest dialogue with farmers on this issue. Does he expect them to pay for additional TB testing or not? This question needs to be answered, and it needs to be answered by the Minister prior to any roll out of new mandatory testing regulations.”

“The Financial Working Group, a sub-committee of the TB Forum, next sits on Friday 9 December. I am calling on Minister McConalogue to address this meeting where I and other farmer representatives will be present. If it transpires that farmers must pay for additional testing, then the responsibility for that must lie squarely on the minister.”


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