Dáil Éireann - Volume 522 - 27 June, 2000

Written Answers. - Tuberculosis Scheme.

166. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if the new tuberculosis scheme, due to be put in place in September 2000, will be completed; if he has secured the finance for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18458/00]

167. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he has satisfied himself that his Department will be able [360] to secure the moneys promised for the employment of 75 personnel to eradicate wildlife, believed to be the reason for the spread of bovine tuberculosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18459/00]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): I propose to take Questions Nos. 166 and 167 together.

Under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, PPF, the Government has undertaken to adopt, in consultation with the farming and veterinary organisations, a number of measures with the objective of reducing the current incidence of bovine TB by 50% within the next four years.

These measures include the introduction of an on-farm market valuation system and the assignment of resources in each District Veterinary Office, DVO, to carry out investigative work into the causes of herd breakdowns by taking a pro-active approach to the removal of all sources of infection in each DVO area. This approach will involve the engagement of 75 dedicated departmental and farm relief service personnel who will concentrate their efforts in the 20% of the country which yields 50% of current reactors.

My Department is currently involved in negotiations with farming and veterinary bodies, in the animal health forum, on the implementation of the foregoing and on other aspects of the disease eradication programme.

The Department of Finance is being consulted with regard to the cost implications of the proposed new arrangements.