Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the Review into Bovine Tuberculosis from the Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
The Minister responded positively to the Committee’s Review, which was debated by the Assembly in plenary session on 26 November 2012. The ARD Committee announced their Review on 20 March 2012 to examine all possible measures that could be taken to reduce and eradicate the disease in cattle and give some thought to the costs and benefits of the various measures available.
Minister O’Neill said: “I share the widely held aspiration to achieve a sustained and progressive reduction towards the ultimate eradication of bovine TB here, and by as early a date as possible. The ARD Committee Review has led to mature discussion of TB eradication, which is welcome. The evidence presented by DARD and AFBI staff, by other research providers and by farming, veterinary and environmental stakeholders has shown that bovine TB is a complex disease with many unknowns.”
The Minister said that she will be interested to read the Committee’s Report in more detail and reflect further on its recommendations noting that DARD will provide a full response to it in coming months. She said: “Any changes to the TB Eradication Programme must be credible, be adequately resourced and be cost beneficial.”