Tipperary farming: Decision to extend Covid calf testing procedures welcomed
The decision to continue the TB Covid-19 procedures governing the movement of calves until April 1 has been welcomed by the deputy president of ICMSA, Locan McCabe.
The announcement came following discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
Mr McCabe said the extension was a welcome recognition that the amended procedures worked well and provided the degree of flexibility and safety circumstances required.
“The 120 days testing extension will give breathing space to farmers who may be impacted by Covid or simply isolating around the time of their expected herd test. The option of not testing calves under 120 days is also welcome as it takes a level of worry from farmers," he said.
Mr McCabe said that, under the extended protocols, calves aged 42-120 days can move to other herds once the herd of origin was not restricted.
"This extension will be a relief to those dairy farmers who sell calves in spring and will give them leeway at a very difficult time," said the deputy president.
If those calves are not tested in the current test, they will needed to be tested to move to other herds once these protocols lapse after April 1.
Mr McCabe said that these were challenging times for all involved and we must all work together to ensure the safety of farmers, vets and Department officials and it was, therefore, important to make sure that all health guidelines were followed during testing on farms as set out from HSE guidelines.
"We must also remember that bovine TB rates are rising again and the testing of animals must continue to ensure that outbreaks are not made any worse due to delays in testing,” he said.