Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 1 October 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
TB Eradication Programme: Discussion
They offered a comprehensive report and Deputy Cahill has covered almost everything. I would like to take the Chairman's question a bit further and ask both groups to elaborate a small bit more on the TB forum and the target of 2030. Has the setting up of the TB forum enhanced the chances of eradication by 2030? I am getting an impression from some of what I am reading here that there is perhaps a sense of "us" and "them" between our guests and the Department. Is that hindering the process to an extent? Is there a bit of a stand-off? Is the forum a worthwhile exercise at all or is it a toothless tiger like previous fora we have had? Is it making any impression on the ultimate aim of eradication? If it is not and if our guests were in the driving seat or had more power in determining its agenda and functions in the future, what changes would they like to see? As I say, from reading the reports of the IFA and the ICSA, the forum seems to be a talking shop where our guests and the Department are on opposite sides of the fence and not much progress is being made.
Compensation and the wildlife issue aside, which both organisations have documented very well here, is there one particular direction our guests would like to see the eradication programme going in? What do they think would be the most effective change or direction for it to take? We all know the issues when it comes to compensation and what it is costing the farmer. We all know about the well-documented wildlife issues that seem to be the kernel of the issue in many areas, in particular the deer and the badgers. Is anything else being missed, from our guests' deliberations within the forum, in particular?