Brucellosis-Testing Programme Is Scaled Down


Junior Agriculture Minister, Mr. Tony Killeen T.D., has said that the brucellosis-testing programme will be scaled down over the next two years following the recent European Commission decision granting Ireland officially brucellosis-free status.



[ClickPress, Thu Sep 10 2009] The Clare T.D. confirmed that significant changes to the brucellosis programme have already been implemented with effect from 9th September 2009.

The changes include an increase in the age threshold for annual round testing to 24 months; an increase in the validity period of the pre-movement test from 30 days to 60 days; an increase in the age-limit for the pre-movement test for female animals from 12 to 18 months and, in view of the lower risk attached to their movement, to 24 months for bulls; and the pre-movement test "one sale" rule applying to female cattle aged 18 months or more is retained. However, as a result of the change in age threshold for bulls, the "one sale" rule for bulls is being increased from 12 to 24 months.

According to Minister Killeen: “The new arrangements will reduce the cost of testing to farmers by removing the need to test approximately a quarter of all eligible animals during the course of annual herd testing. In addition, the extension of the pre-movement test to 60 days combined with the increase in the age threshold to 18 months for female animals will result in further significant savings for farmers. The total saving from these changes is estimated to be in the region of EUR5m.”

He continued: “In addition to the changes that came into effect this week, I welcome the move to initiate further changes in 2010 and in 2011. Commencing on 1 January 2010, dairy herds scheduled to be tested in 2010 and 2011 will now be tested every second year. This will exclude some 550,000 animals each year from the round test and, when taken in conjunction with the increase in the age threshold to 24 months which is being introduced immediately will remove some 1.35m animals from the annual testing programme".

"The steps taken by the Department of Agriculture are risk-based and focussed on reducing costs on farmers generally. They strike a balance between reducing significantly herd-based surveillance testing whilst maintaining vigilance regarding movement of animals. Reducing the burden of testing at herd level in a strategic way gives greater all-round cost reduction benefit while continuing to mitigate the overall level of risk of disease spread", added Minister of State Killeen.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- High-resolution images of Tony Killeen, Fianna Fail TD for Clare, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine, may be downloaded from www.dunphyprimages.com
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR at media@dunphypr.com or 086-8534900

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