14 NOVEMBER 2019
ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chair Hugh Farrell has said the recent beef protests would seem like a tea party compared to the unrest that would follow if any Minister tried to introduce twice yearly TB testing on all herds, including those that are TB free.
“This would cause a mutiny; it is the most outrageous suggestion I’ve ever heard. Every farmer would have to down tools and outright refuse to cooperate with the Department causing a further strain on relations between farmers and Department officials.”
“This proposal coming from Europe will be voted upon by the Parliament next month. It is critical that Irish politicians and MEPs mount a vigorous campaign to ensure this ludicrous suggestion never sees the light of day. However, I am very annoyed that this plan has not been communicated to us by the Department. It is vital that the Minister immediately outlines what he has done to ensure that Europe understands that this proposal is unworkable and utterly over the top.”
“Farmers will be incensed. They already contribute enormously to the TB eradication Programme in terms of paid testing and levies as well as several days of unpaid labour. Over 96% of herds are TB clear. Many have been clear for years. What possible use is it putting all of these herds to the incredible expense, inconvenience and stress of totally unnecessary extra testing? There is also the fact that TB testing is very stressful on animals and at a time when animal welfare is paramount, it is unconscionable to be wasting time and money on the herds that have no TB issues.”
“ICSA will not even be considering who should pay for any proposed second testing. Instead we will be focusing on rejecting this proposal unequivocally. Farmers will revolt against this. This has the potential to bring down a government. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”