More than €98.5m was spent on Ireland’s TB eradication programme, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has revealed.

Reactor numbers rising by more than 6,000 last year and Minister McConalogue said that while TB rates are low relative to historical levels, the number of new restrictions and reactor numbers have been gradually increasing since 2016.

“The pace of deterioration has accelerated in 2020,” he said, responding to a parliamentary question from Peadar Tóibín of Aontú.

Testing costs

TB testing cost almost €37.3m last year, with farmers paying €27.4m of this bill and the Department of Agriculture paying the remaining €9.9m.

Including compensation and other costs, the total cost of the TB programme to the country last year came to €98,562,000, of which farmers paid €35,132,000.

EU funding accounted for just over €5.4m. This was a €2m drop on the previous year and less than half the funding received from the EU in the years 2010 to 2016.