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Department of Agriculture officials say there is 'no evidence' deer contribute to TB incidence rates in Monaghan

Dec 8, 2020 13:12 By News Northern Sound
Department of Agriculture officials say there is 'no evidence' deer contribute to TB incidence rates in Monaghan Department of Agriculture officials say there is 'no evidence' deer contribute to TB incidence rates in Monaghan
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Monaghan County councillors have been told there is "no evidence" that deer contribute to the high TB incidence rates in the county. The levels of

Monaghan County councillors have been told there is "no evidence" that deer contribute to the high TB incidence rates in the county.

The levels of TB are at their highest since 2010 and some Monaghan councillors have warned that it could become a "pandemic".

Monaghan County council received an update on the TB situation from representatives of the Department of Agriculture yesterday.

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TB cases reached an all-time low in 2015, but have now reached the highest levels since 2010.

Senior Supervisory Veterinary Inspector, Eoin Ryan, told councillors that while TB has to be tackled, it cannot be full eradicated.

He informed councillors that a TB strategy will be launched soon, based on recommendations to the TB Forum.

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Councillor Seamus Coyle enquired about the numbers of deer that have been tested, but Mr Ryan informed him that no deer in Monaghan have tested positive for TB.

Mr Ryan said there is no evidence deer play significant role in the spread of TB in Monaghan, but he added that landowners can cull deer on their land in open season and that the department will test deer where there are concerns.

He also told the meeting that there has been a lot of research into badger vaccinations, and it's been found to be as effective, and more sustainable, than culling badgers.

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He added that the badger vaccination programme is expanding, but that badger culling will still take place where required.

Mr Ryan said that while the risk can't be reduced to zero, there are things farmers can do to reduce risk, such as walking the land and informing the department of any setts, as well as ensuring that meal stores are badger proof.

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