Mayo Fianna Fáil Senator and Government spokesperson on agriculture in Seanad Éireann John Carty has welcomed the confirmation this week that the EU Commission has approved Ireland’s application for official brucellosis-free status.
“This is a landmark achievement in the history of disease eradication in Ireland,” Sen Carty said.
The news will be welcomed by the farming community and it will have a very beneficial impact in the years to come, particularly in relation to trade and the cost of testing. A controlled reduction in the brucellosis eradication programme will now be made over the next number of years. There will be an increase in the period of the pre-movement test from 30 to 60 days, while the age threshold for round testing will be increased to 24 months.
However in view of the greater risk attached to the movement, particularly the movement of breeding animals, the age limit for the pre-movement test will be kept at 12 months, except in the case of bulls for which the age limit is being increased to 18 months, given the lower risk of transmitting the disease.
“The changes will be implemented as soon as possible after the publication of the EU Commission’s decision and the necessary changes are made to our own legislation,” explained Sen Carty.
The Mayo senator commended the efforts of all involved in the eradication regime, but added that it is essential that farmers continue to use appropriate replacement policies and effective bio-security measures to ensure that the status is maintained.