Dáil Éireann - Volume 557 - 20 November, 2002

Written Answers. - Bovine Disease Controls.

  106. Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will consider amending the 365 day testing rule for cattle that are sold in or around the due date to extend the period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23006/02]

  Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): As the national TB and brucellosis eradication programmes must comply with the terms of EU legislation relating to movement and trade in bovine animals, the question of amending the testing rules for cattle as suggested does not arise. The relevant EU directive only permits movements of animals from officially TB-free herds. A bovine herd can only retain officially TB-free status if, among other things, all animals in the holding, with the exception of calves under six weeks of age which were born in the holding, are subject to routine tuberculin testing at yearly intervals. The recent requirement for marts to display the date of the last test will assist farmers in managing their trading business so that out of date test situations will be avoided.