Seven members sought for new TB Eradication Partnership (TBEP)

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The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has launched a competition to appoint seven members to a new body, the Tuberculosis Eradication Partnership (TBEP), with effect from 1 April 2018.

The Chief Veterinary, Officer Robert Huey, outlining the remit of the new body said the TBEP will be a DAERA sponsored Expert Advisory Body.

He added: “Given the range of positions to be filled and the need to achieve a balance of skills and backgrounds represented on the new Partnership, the Department has identified a need for members with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences relevant to driving forward the eradication of bovine TB in Northern Ireland.”

These include:

A chairperson with proven leadership and inter-personal skills to undertake this role;

q Two representatives of the Northern Ireland farming community;

q A representative of the Northern Ireland processing sector;

q A representative of nature conservation issues;

q A person with a recognised qualification and experience as a veterinarian delivering services to the farming industry in Northern Ireland;

q A person with an appropriate scientific background relevant to bovine TB.

Mr Huey said DAERA wished to see a pool of applicants that reflected the diversity of Northern Ireland’s communities.

He strongly encouraged everyone with the relevant skills and experience to consider applying for the position of Partnership Chair, Partnership Member, or both.

The initiation of the process to appoint a TBEP comes mid-way through a public consultation period regarding DARD’s response to the TB eradication and farm compensation measures, proposed by the previously constituted TB Strategic Partnership Group (TBSPG).

These include:

q New management/partnership arrangements with a Northern Ireland Eradication Partnership Board, three sub-regional boards and ad hoc local disease teams;

q A number of enhancements and additions to the existing bovine TB Eradication Programme;

q A programme of badger removal and vaccination in targeted areas;

q Greater emphasis and ownership by the farming industry on reducing risk through better herd health management;

q Changes to the compensation system and the introduction of a payment for an annual herd test.

Livestock farmers have already made clear their total opposition to any changes which would cap the compensation received for a TB infected animal, relative to its commercial market value.