Lorcan McCabe Deputy President (3)

ICMSA Welcomes Changes To TB Testing Programme

In the context of the ongoing Covid crisis, ICMSA welcomes the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s decision to extend the requirement of a TB test for calves from 42 days to 120 days.   This decision means that calves can be sold off the farm for up to four (4) months without a TB test. The 42-day requirement will still apply for calves to be exported and in the case of reactor re-tests.


“We welcome this decision by the Department because it’s not possible to maintain social distancing when TB testing calves and the decision reflects that reality”, said ICMSA Deputy President, Lorcan McCabe.


Where a herd cannot be TB tested due to COVID19 related issues, the trading status of the herd will be suspended.  However, a grace period of 28 days will be applied before this suspension comes into effect, during which the herd can continue trading.   


“We need to continue testing to ensure that we keep TB levels under control and not repeat the mistakes the UK made during the Foot and Mouth crisis. We also want to maintain the export status of our cattle, we need to follow best practice and we do welcome these practical steps taken by the Department aimed at making testing more flexible.  Quite obviously, the situation will have to be kept under ongoing review”,concluded Mr. McCabe.


Ends    1 April 2020


Lorcan McCabe, 086-3979804

Deputy President, ICMSA.




Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office