The Ulster Farmers’ Union and Irish Farmers’ Association have met to discuss animal health issues facing farmers on both sides of the border.
Issues on the agenda included TB, BVD and Johne’s Disease, where the Republic of Ireland has made significant progress towards eradication.
UFU animal health and welfare chairman, Harper Doupe, said: “This meeting was an opportunity for us to learn about the ROI’s experience in lowering its incidence of TB and the importance of controlling wildlife. This was a timely meeting as it coincided with the start of our own UFU consultation on the TB Strategic Partnership Group’s interim report.”
Also on the agenda was the Irish programme to eliminate BVD which is expected to see the number of BVD negative herds increase from 5,621 this year, to 80,000 herds in 2016. The committee was also given an update on the ROI’s and government funded pilot programme to tackle Johne’s Disease.
“Since 2001, the number of TB reactors in cattle in the Republic has fallen from 33,702 to 16,029 per year. National herd incidence has fallen from 7.5 to below 2.5 per cent. The primary reason for this reduction has been containment of the natural wildlife population,” said Mr Doupe.