O’Neill publishes Annual TB Report for 2013

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Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has published the 2013 Annual TB Report.

The Report shows that there was a 24.2% reduction in the number of reactors to the skin test in 2013 compared to 2012. This represents a decrease of 2,634 animals. The number of new bTB breakdown herds reduced by 12.7%, representing a decrease of 216.

Minister O’Neill said: “Bovine TB is a major animal health problem, which is costly for the taxpayer and for farmers, placing added pressure on the families of those farms affected. I welcome this positive Report, depicting a reduction in disease levels occurring in 2013, and that the rising trend in 2012 was reversed.

“However, it is important that, despite these positive figures, we do not become complacent with regards to TB in cattle as Government, industry and the farming community move forward together to gain a better understanding of this disease and reduce the number of incidences in cattle.

“I would like to thank all sections of the industry, particularly those directly affected by bTB during 2013, for their efforts and cooperation. I would also like to recognise the role of DARD staff, AFBI, our delivery partners and stakeholders in moving the Programme forward during the year and I look forward to these partnerships continuing into the future.”