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UFU voices 'serious concerns' over plans to tackle TB

THE Ulster Farmers' Union has voiced concerns over the DAERA's plans to tackle bovine Tuberculosis
Gareth McKeown

THE Ulster Farmers' Union has voiced concerns over the DAERA's plans to tackle bovine Tuberculosis (TB).

UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt described DAERA's consultation on plans for tackling TB as a "mixed bag".

“We need to consider the document in full and consult with members but our initial reaction is that while there are some proposals we can support; we have serious concerns about others.”

The comments were made following DAERA's announcement of a public consultation on proposals for eradicating bovine TB. The plans are based on the recommendations from the TB Strategic Partnership group (TBSPG) and the consultation was due to be published at the beginning of 2017 but has been delayed as result of the situation at Stormont.

Mr Chestnutt said it is positive the department recognises the need to address TB in wildlife and that the UFU will be making a strong case for a robust wildlife intervention programme.

“The Union has always argued that meaningful action to tackle TB in wildlife must be taken before changes to compensation or how tests are paid for is even considered. To date, the department has failed to do this. We have serious concerns about any suggested changes to compensation or testing without the implementation of robust action to tackle TB in wildlife.”

“TB has frustrated farmers for decades and is currently causing major problems on farms across the country. Everyone recognises the present situation cannot continue and action must be taken. Difficult decisions will have to be made,” Mr Chestnutt added.

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