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TB Eradication Scheme

ERAD Division is responsible for developing and managing, in an effective and efficient manner, the Bovine TB policy framework for national disease eradication programmes, which include valuation and compensation measures.

The programme is operational throughout Ireland, and is managed through a centralised administrative structure, 16 Regional veterinary offices (RVOs) units serve the 26 counties and 29 RVO areas. A Superintending Veterinary Inspector (SVI) oversees the veterinary aspects of the programme within each RVO. Delivery of the programme in the RVOs is overseen by two Area Management Teams (AMTs), each consisting of a Senior Supervisory Veterinary Inspector (SSVI), a Superintending Veterinary Inspector (SVI), a Regional Assistant Principal and an Area Superintendent, covering the North and South of the country. These AMTs liaise with ERAD HQ in relation to implementation of the TB eradication programme.

A focused strategy will operate in areas with a higher disease incidence, based on herd categorisation and contiguous testing arrangements.

The control and ultimate eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis is essential for the well-being and future development of our livestock production for both export and domestic markets.

Existing Arrangements

The main aspects of the TB Disease Eradication Scheme are as follows:

  • annual testing for TB (the "Round" test) of the national herd and/or designated categories of animals, with primary responsibility for arranging testing and paying for certain tests assigned to farmers;
  • Herdowners are advised in the test letters not to treat (or permit to be treated) any cattle with a veterinary medicine after they receive a notification to test and until the test is completed. Should an urgent case arise where this cannot be adhered to they should follow the criteria set out in the test letter as any medical treatment could compromise the accuracy of the Tb test and/or delay the removal of reactors where these are identified  and thus prolong the TB problem and restriction period in the herd. It is illegal to put treated animals into the food chain before the expiry of the withdrawal period. The medication of animals subsequently identified as reactor can also have implications on eligibility for compensation under the On Farm Market Valuation, Income Supplement, Depopulation and Hardship Grant schemes. 
  • follow-up and focused strategic additional testing, including use of blood testing for TB in certain circumstances;
  • restriction of holdings when reactors are disclosed/or where there are concerns regarding the disease status of the herd.
  • movement of any animal into or out of a restricted holding is prohibited, except with the written permission of the RVO and on foot of a movement permit.
  • restriction of inconclusive TB reactor animals to herd for life or direct to slaughter or via a feedlot direct to slaughter.
  • restriction, pending test, of relevant herds contiguous to a high risk TB breakdown where those herds were not tested in the previous four months.
  • rapid removal of reactors to meat factories or, in the case of calves which are deemed to be of no commercial value, to knackeries (subject to age/weight limitations). Removal is generally paid for by the Department.
  • a range of compensation measures for farmers whose herds are affected by disease;
  • delays in testing or removing reactors due to lack of co-operation by the farmer, for whatever reason (including valuation/compensation issues), may lead to a reduction in compensation.
  • a badger culling programme where they are implicated in a disease breakdown.
  • improved epidemiology and feedback to farmers;
  • a comprehensive research programme aimed at preventing TB spread by wildlife and the development of blood tests, vaccines and other technological tools required to improve effectiveness of programmes.
  • payment of disease levies by farmers on cattle slaughterings/live exports and milk deliveries.

Responsibility for arranging and paying for the first herd tests each year rests with farmers. In addition, farmers have primary responsibility for protecting their own herds and are also encouraged to assist the Department’s Regional Veterinary Offices in research activities, as necessary.

Further Information

The Department’s Booklet TB Compensation Arrangements Booklet (doc 1,849Kb)  provides useful information in relation to the valuation arrangements, Income Supplement and Depopulation Grant eligibility requirements, rates payable, etc.

Further information regarding the Disease Eradication Schemes can be obtained from the ERAD Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ground Floor, Administration Building, Backweston, Co Kildare or from the local Regional Veterinary Office (RVO) of the Department.

ERAD Division

January 2017