The Tenant Farmers Association have opposed plans to take the responsibility for some TB testing away from local vets.
The Government is proposing measures which will require all herds of more than 100 animals to be tested by a State Veterinary Officer as opposed to a private veterinary practitioner. George Dunn, chief executive of the TFA, said that whilst the motive for the change was not clear, he presumed that the intention was cost-reduction. He went on to say that the TFA believe that the proposed change would be a false economy as well as adding to the stress of the farmers and animals concerned.
Mr Dunn said experienced local vets were familiar with the livestock, farm setup and staff and so were able to get through a least double the number of tests compared to state vets. "The move to increase use of State vets will also lead to a significant extra cost to the farmer and his staff who will have to spend more time with the vet during the testing process." said Mr Dunn.
The TFA is also concerned that for many local veterinary practices in livestock areas, TB testing has become a fundamental part of their business.