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Minister McConalogue welcomes positive start to the TB Finance Working Group

The new Finance Working Group set up as part of the Bovine TB Stakeholder Forum and chaired by Mr Gerry Kiely, had its first meeting today beginning with a positive and constructive discussion. 

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. welcomed the first meeting of the new group highlighting the need for all stakeholders to work together in order to drive down TB rates.

The Minister stated, “The Bovine TB Eradication Programme is our largest animal health programme and is subject to substantial financial support from farmers and taxpayers.  In recognition of this, the terms of reference for the Finance Working Group tasks them with a heavy workload, particularly the need to ensure that the TB Programme is sustainably and appropriately funded in line with the principles of the National Farmed Animal Health Strategy.  If the objectives of the group are to be achieved, it is vital that all stakeholders work together in a constructive and cooperative manner. I am tasking this working group with delivering for farmers. It needs to be a success and I am strongly encouraging on all those involved to work together to deliver for our farm families.

“I am aware that the first meeting of the group today had a very positive start, with all parties expressing their commitment to achieving the objectives as set down in the terms of reference.  I look forward to seeing the results of this group when they report to the Forum.”

A series of follow up meetings are planned to progress the matters under discussion.

Note for editors:

The Finance Working Group has been established under the new Bovine TB Strategy and comprises officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and farming organisation representatives.  The terms of references for the group task them with:

  1. Informed by the independent cost benefit analysis, developing a sustainable funding model for the ongoing financial requirements of the bTB programme in line with National Farmed Animal Health Strategy principles.
  2. In line with the recommendations from the independent review of the On Farm Market Valuation Scheme, proposing initiatives consistent with providing fair valuations of reactor animals in a timely and cost-effective manner
  3. Examining the adequacy of financial supports available under the bTB programme and ensuring they are targeted effectively.
  4. Aligning eligibility for financial supports with risk-mitigation measures.