The report contains a number of recommendations on additional measures to reduce the levels of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and continue the drive towards eradication.
“I welcome the report from the TB Forum, and will be closely examining the proposals set out within it,” said Minister Creed. “There are no easy options left for dealing with bovine TB, so the members of the TB Forum deserve credit for engaging with these difficult choices and producing a report with recommendations to reduce disease levels further. I know that there were other areas on which agreements could not be reached, but I am confident, nevertheless, that this report represents a significant step forward. The TB Forum report illustrates the value of stakeholders taking the opportunity to discuss and influence the choices we make, as we share a responsibility to take actions to eradicate this disease in the shortest possible timeframe.
"I will now be directing my officials to immediately commence the development of a renewed TB Eradication Strategy. This strategy, which will take the TB Forum report into account, will be the roadmap for driving down TB levels over the coming years, protecting cattle from infection and protecting farmers and farm families from the stress and difficulty of a TB breakdown. I plan to launch this renewed TB strategy in the Autumn.
"I wish to thank each member of the TB Forum for their hard work and commitment, and in particular, I want to express my gratitude to the chair, Mr Michael Cronin, for his dedication and effectiveness.”
The TB Forum is composed of representatives from a range of stakeholder organisations, and met seven times between September 2018 and June 2019. Levels of bovine TB have been reduced significantly in the past decade, but progress towards eradication has stalled in recent years. The new measures agreed by the TB Forum, once implemented, are expected to start to reduce TB levels further over the coming years.