Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has urged the public to have its say on plans to eradicate bovine TB in the North.

The Minister established the TB Strategic Partnership Group (TBSPG) last autumn and tasked it with developing a strategy and action plan to reduce both the levels of TB in cattle, and the cost of the TB eradication programme.

In December, the TBSPG published a consultation seeking the views from all parties on this programme. The consultation will end on January 23, 2015, and responses received will assist the TBSPG during this, their information and evidence gathering phase.

“The TBSPG has been tasked with the responsibility of developing a long-term strategy and action plan for the eradication of TB in cattle in the north. I would encourage all interested parties with views on TB eradication to respond to the TBSPG consultation by January 23,” Minister O’Neill said.

“The TBSPG has been appointed to work in the wider public interest, and with this in mind it is important that all interested parties engage in this process.”

The TBSPG is also considering the ongoing TB eradication programme, the possibility of improved detection of TB in cattle, enhanced biosecurity measures, reduced disease risks throughout the cattle industry, compensation, and to find cost-effective ways to deal with the wildlife factor.