UFU comment on appointment of members to the TB Strategic Partnership Group

Friday, 10 October, 2014

In response to the recent appointment of four independent members to the DARD Minister’s TB Strategic Partnership Group, UFU President Ian Marshall said; “We are pleased to hear that the creation of this group has went ahead and that there is a good representation of individuals from the farming, veterinary and scientific professions. This provides the TB expertise alongside representation of the views of farmers across Northern Ireland. 

“Now that the membership of this TB Strategic Partnership Group has been finalised, the onus is firmly on this Partnership to develop its strategic plan in an attempt to eradicate bovine TB from Cattle in Northern Ireland.  There ultimately needs to be a clear practical plan, with a realistic timescale and guaranteed resources set in place if government and industry are to deliver on a strategy that will effectively eradicate this disease. One overriding issue is that the industry cannot accept any changes to be made to compensation rates until all factors are addressed and in particular the issue of TB in wildlife.”   

Harper Doupe, Chairman of the UFU Animal Health Committee, added: “Farmers with herds closed because of TB want a strategy which will seriously address the urgent need to remove TB from the countryside once and for all, including the removal of diseased wildlife.  It is pointless to continue with the current situation where cattle go down with TB, the animals are slaughtered, the farm re-stocks and eventually goes down again with TB because the disease remained on the farm in wildlife.  We are also encouraged to hear that the current Bovine TB Test, Vaccinate or Remove (TVR) wildlife research project is making good progress and that if the results are favourable, then this project will become part of the longer term TB eradication strategy.”