IRELAND - The Irish Farmers Association has said that controlling the deer population is essential to protecting cattle from tuberculosis (TB).
IFA President Eddie Downey said the high levels of TB in wild deer, that have been confirmed following a study in Wicklow, require immediate and targeted action by the Department of Agriculture.
Eddie Downey said the study, sought by IFA and carried out by the Department between October 2014 and January 2015, shows levels of TB in deer at 16 per cent.
“The evidence from this study shows the level of TB in deer is a significantly higher multiple than in cattle and justifies the implementation of a programme similar to the existing Wildlife Control Programme.”
Mr Downey said progress on the issue is unacceptably slow, and while officials pass the buck on assuming responsibility for the control of animals that are proved highly infected with TB, farmers continue to lose animals and endure enormous financial losses.
He has called on the Department of Agriculture to assume full responsibility for the control of deer around TB restricted farms and put in place the resources necessary to reduce the numbers immediately.
TheCattleSite News Desk