IRELAND – Routine on farm Brucellosis checks will likely end next year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Substantial changes are planned for Brucellosis control next year following a lull in outbreaks.
Agriculture minister Simon Coveney said: “Having complied fully with EU requirements for mandatory levels of testing for a period following achievement of Officially Brucellosis Free status in 2009, which has now come to an end, we now have greater freedom to put in place arrangements which best meet the needs of our situation.”
Saving in testing costs, which include discontinuing the milk Elisa test and pre-movement tests of old animals will save €6 million next year, he added.
“Against a background where there has been no Brucellosis outbreak in the national herd since 2006 and none in Northern Ireland since 2012, it is now appropriate to scale back further on the scale of testing for the disease in 2015 and onwards”.
Testing has been a "huge cost" to farmers, said the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA).
More importantly, it stressed the successes of eradicating the disease.
Animal Health Group Chairman, John Barron, highlighted the substantial interference with mart trade.
He added: "We welcome the Minister's confirmation that there will be no round testing in 2015, and that pre-movement testing is also likely to end some time next year, contingent upon Northern Ireland achieving brucellosis-free status."