DAFM Declares Hands-Off Approach: No Mandatory 6-Month Pre-Sale Test for Prime Cattle!

“Department of Agriculture Denies Plans for Changes to Cattle Pre-Sale Testing Regulations”

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has stated that it currently has no intentions of making any changes to the regulations regarding the pre-sale testing of cattle. These regulations require cows and male cattle over 36 months of age to be tested for tuberculosis (TB) within six months prior to being sold or moved from one farm to another. If the animals have not been tested, they will be restricted to the buyer’s herd and must be tested within 30 days of purchase. There were concerns among mart managers that this rule would be extended to all cattle over six weeks of age, but DAFM has confirmed that there are no such plans at present.

In a statement to Agriland, DAFM said, “There are currently no plans to extend the TB test requirements under the EU Animal Health Law to other animals over the age of six weeks. Any such plans will be thoroughly discussed with the Bovine TB Stakeholders Forum.”

According to the latest data from the DAFM National Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme Disease Trends, a total of 4,790 herds were restricted in Ireland between July 3, 2022, and July 2, 2023. This represents an increase of 320 herds compared to the same period last year. During this time, there were 25,529 TB reactors, which is an increase of 5,309 cattle compared to the previous year (July 4, 2021, to July 3, 2022).

The DAFM also reported that the total expenditure on the Bovine TB Eradication Programme by the end of the second quarter of 2023 was €33,143,000. This marks a 45% increase from the €22,914,000 spent in the first quarter of 2022.