Minister says south Kerry TB outbreak showing signs of improvement


The Agriculture Minister has said the TB outbreak in cattle in south Kerry is showing signs of improvement.

The comments followed a question in the Dail from Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae who asked if there were plans to introduce a pilot scheme in south Kerry for vaccinating badgers.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said the outbreak in South Kerry is largely confined to eight electoral divisions.

During 2017, 53 herds were restricted with 302 reactors removed; 32 of the restrictions arose following cattle herd tests.

Minister Creed said his Department along with farmers and vets have been managing the situation since the beginning of the outbreak in Autumn 2016 and the TB Eradication Programme including the removal of badger is continuing.

The Minister said it is not recommended that vaccination on badgers be used whilst there is an active disease outbreak and added there are other factors contributing to the spread of TB.

He congratulated farmers in their efforts to increase biosecurity and said the rate of herd restriction has abated with a significant number of herds recently having a clear test with others having restrictions lifted.