Dáil Éireann - Volume 412 - 13 November, 1991

Written Answers. - Bovine TB Testing.

60. Mr. Sheehan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will outline the progress, if any, which has been made in regard to changing the method of TB testing of herds from the present system of injections to a blood test.

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): I am informed by the director [1400] of ERAD that a number of major research projects into the development of diagnostic based blood tests have been undertaken. Results at this stage are encouraging and it is now proposed to carry out extensive field trials to assess their effectiveness.

64. Mr. Cotter asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason the practice of testing neighbouring herds when a herd fails the TB test has been discontinued; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): I have been informed by the director of ERAD that the practice of testing neighbouring herds when a herd fails a TB test has not been discontinued and is in fact a fundamental element of ERAD's testing strategy. A particularly intensive contiguous testing programme has been carried out this year.