Stag Carting has potential to spread bovine TB – McMullan

Bovine Tuberculosis is rightly a major concern within the farming industry. When it is detected entire herds can be culled and the public purse required to pick up the bill for losses incurred.

The farming industry ‘finger pointing’ for a cause of transmission  invariably involves the part played by infected wildlife, specifically badgers and deer.

The sight of a hunt pursuing a deer across open farmland in a part of the province where the correlation between badgers  and the incidence of Bovine TB is under scientific scrutiny is, in the view of USPCA, grossly irresponsible.

Key stakeholders Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development, Ulster Farmers Union & NI Agricultural Producers Association have now been asked for their views…. We await their response with interest.

Sinn FEin – March 14, 2013

Sinn Féin Agricultural spokesperson Oliver McMullan has called on farmers and countryside users to work with the Minister Michelle O’Neill to help eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis.

Mr. McMullan stated,

“I am concerned that stag carting in areas designated by the Minister as trials for eradicating bovine TB in badgers are allowing wild stags to roam across the same area.

“These stags have the potential to carry and spread Bovine TB across the area where they are chased during the hunt.  I am also concerned that before the hunt that these stags are captured and kept at times in the same building as cattle with the potential to infect them.

“If farmers are serious about eradicating Bovine TB then they must work with the Department of Agriculture in ensuring that all sources of TB are minimised.

“I would call on a suspension of these stag hunts throughout the trial area so that we can get a definitive result in whether the capture, vaccination and return of healthy badgers or capture and removal of TB infected badgers is working.”

Date: March 14, 2013