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Reducing TB risk

Reducing TB risk

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) provided guidelines on reducing the risk of TB in your herd.

The advice on reducing herd-wildlife contact is particularly important, but other steps are:

  • Only buy animals from low-risk herds, that is herds that have not had an outbreak of TB in recent years, ideally not within the last five years;
  • Cull any animal that was inconclusive in a past TB test – these are high risk of being a source of residual infection, which can lead to larger outbreaks;
  • Cull those that were cohorts of reactors;
  • Use AI bulls with higher levels of TB resistance;
  • Identify and fence off badger setts to ensure cattle do not have access;
  • Ensure all feed stores and water troughs are inaccessible to badgers;
  • The Badger Activity app allows farmers to assist DAFM in locating setts and extending the vaccination programme (the Department has provided farmers with the locations of identified badger setts on their farmed lands on Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) maps in 2024);
  • Practice good biosecurity on farms to ensure cattle-to-cattle contact with neighbouring farms does not occur and minimise the risk from introducing TB to farms through other means;
  • Provide good testing facilities to ensure veterinary practitioners can carry out TB testing of the highest standard.

More information on TB can be found at www.bovinetb.ie

This article first appeared in the Teagasc Dairy Advisory newsletter for April. Read the full Teagasc Dairy Newsletter.