Agriculture Minister committed to eradicating TB

Farming Minister Michelle McIlveen reiterates her commitment to eradicating TB during a farm visit where she observed cattle being tested. (left to right) Farmer Barry Stephens joins DAERA vet John Kennedy and Miss McIlveen.
Farming Minister Michelle McIlveen reiterates her commitment to eradicating TB during a farm visit where she observed cattle being tested. (left to right) Farmer Barry Stephens joins DAERA vet John Kennedy and Miss McIlveen.

Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has reiterated her commitment to eradicating TB during a farm visit where she observed cattle being tested.

The minister said: “Bovine TB has a devastating impact on our farmers and their businesses which is why we are resolute in our determination to eradicate it from Northern Ireland. We must also safeguard our £1 billion plus livestock industry which depends significantly on exports.

During a visit to a Co Down dairy farm to observe TB testing, Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen watched as DAERA vet John Kennedy recorded the animals that were tested.

During a visit to a Co Down dairy farm to observe TB testing, Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen watched as DAERA vet John Kennedy recorded the animals that were tested.

“As a result of our robust TB testing regime and the work my Department is doing in partnership with farmers and private veterinary practitioners to tackle this disease, 90% of our herds are free from TB and able to engage in international trade at anytime,” Miss McIlveen told the Co Down dairy farm owners.

“Annual TB testing of all herds is mandatory and is obviously an essential part of the TB Eradication Programme. TB skin testing is an exacting procedure and I wanted to see first-hand how it is carried out to best effect in detecting disease. It was also an opportunity to hear about any concerns individual farmers may have about the programme.

“I am keen to receive a long-term strategy on tackling TB from the TB Strategic Partnership Group in December which I will give my earliest and fullest consideration,” the minister added.

Bovine TB is an infectious disease of cattle which mainly affects the respiratory system.

Bovine TB has a devastating impact on our farmers and their businesses which is why we are resolute in our determination to eradicate it from Northern Ireland. We must also safeguard our £1 billion plus livestock industry which depends significantly on exports.

Michelle McIlveen, Agriculture Minister