A new App to report badger activity has been launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine with the bovine TB Stakeholder Forum, Implementation Working Group (IWG), Chaired by Dr. Sean Brady.
The new App called ‘Badger Activity’ is available to download from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s website at www.bovinetb.ie.
Badgers are known to spread TB to cattle and this App, developed as a further enhancement to the Department’s wildlife programme, will allow farmers to immediately report, to the Department, signs of badger activity on their farms.
Commenting on the launch of the new app, Minister McConalogue commended the IWG as well as the Scientific and Financial Working Groups and the overall TB Forum in working to reduce TB rates in cattle.
“Since being appointed Minister, I have been committed to tackling bovine TB rates. I am acutely aware of the emotional and financial burden of a TB breakdown in a herd. Only by working together can we see TB rates reduce. It is exciting to see the Badger Activity app come to fruition and I commend the work of the IWG chaired by Dr Seán Brady. Each of the individual TB working groups as well as the TB Forum are committed to reducing TB rates in cattle.
“In Budget 2022, I secured a further €1m for the Wildlife Programme which is an integral element of the overall TB programme. There is an energy and focus from me and my Department as well as the TB Forum and its working groups in driving down TB rates.”
Members of the IWG, including the Irish Farmers Association, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association, Animal Health Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department itself, have also welcomed this important development.
Farmers using this App will help the Department build its knowledge of the range and location of badger activity throughout the country, facilitating the enhanced implementation of the wildlife control programme.
The IWG would like to encourage all farmers to download the App and to walk their lands looking for signs of badger activity. An information video and leaflet on identifying signs of badger activity and advice on how to reduce the risk of TB from badgers to cattle is available on www.bovinetb.ie The manual accompanying the App on www.bovinetb.ie contains photographic examples of badger setts, latrines, pathways, snuffle holes and paw prints. It is much easier to spot activity at this time of year when vegetation is dying back.
IWG Chair, Dr. Sean Brady and Chair of the bovine TB Stakeholder Forum, Michael Cronin thanked the group and the wider Forum membership for their continued hard work, collaboration, commitment and progress in their efforts to reduce the impact of bovine TB across the country and look forward to continuing with this progress.