Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
871. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to respond to the European Commission decision to reduce funding for the tuberculosis eradication programme here by €975,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6018/20]
The EU provides co-funding to Ireland in respect of its annual bovine TB Programme in line with EU Regulation 652/2014. The Commission can reduce funding in certain circumstances, which include where clear progress demonstrated by prescribed metrics (herd incidence and herd prevalence) are not consistent with the goal of bovine TB eradication. Prior to 2019, Ireland had not been subject to any funding reductions. However, in mid-2019, following assessment of the results of Ireland’s 2018 bovine TB Programme, the Commission notified Ireland of its intention to reduce 2018 Programme funding by 10%, or €975,000.
The Department has engaged extensively with the EU Commission on the matter. While acknowledging that there had been a significantly improved TB situation in Ireland over the past decade, the situation has deteriorated to some extent in 2018 and 2019. Continuing cooperation between farmers, farm organisations, Private Veterinary Practitioners and the Department will be required to reduce disease spread and more effectively target the high-risk factors associated with bTB transmission, in order to bring disease trends back on a downward trajectory.