Fianna Fáil Senator in Sligo North Leitrim, Marc Mac Sharry, has called for a common sense approach by the Government when dealing with increased restrictions for farmers in protecting their animals against TB.

The new restrictions may see more and more farmers affected even if their herd has passed all the necessary criteria.  Senator Mac Sharry commented: “We have the situation where all farms adjoining one that has a reactor to TB, are being quarantined for as much as two test periods.

“This could be as long as 120 days and with some small farms in the North West region adjoining as many as 16 other farms, this could spell disaster for already struggling farmers. Many farmers in the region are already facing an uncertain future.

“We need to see much more flexibility from the Government on this, just because one herd needs to be quarantined does not mean there needs to be a shut down of the whole region. The Government has failed the people of the North West on a constant basis, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, seems more concerned with suiting the needs of the big farmers while the small farmer feels the brunt of this.

“Not enough has been done to inform farmers as to what is involved in the new regulations, a simple information booklet needs to be circulated so farmers are fully informed,” Senator Mac Sharry concluded.