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