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Vaccination programme on badgers could be biggest ever single advance in wiping out bovine TB

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County Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn. PHOTO: Hany Marzouk

OVER 200 badgers have been vaccinated for TB in a stretch of County Galway from the city to the North Clare border as part of a four year pilot programme, also being carried out in three other areas across the country.

A large swathe of south-west Galway from the city to Athenry onto Loughrea and Gort is included in the vaccination programme that began in early 2014 and that will continue for the next three years.

County Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune that the IFA and the farming community warmly welcomed the vaccination initiative on the badgers and added that ‘it was the way to go’ in terms of tackling the scourge of herds being TB infected through the contact with wildlife.

“It has been proven without any shred of a doubt that infected badgers have been one of the main root causes as to why bovine TB has remained an ongoing problem on many Galway and Irish farms,” said Michael Flynn.

He said that work being carried out on the ground by Bernie Forde and his team, under the supervision of Superintending Veterinary Inspector Michael O’Brien and James O’Keeffe, was an invaluable exercise in trying to rid the Irish cattle herd of a scourge that was there for the last 60 years.

“If this vaccination programme works, and if it can then be rolled out onto other badger areas across the country, it could be the biggest single advance ever in our efforts to at last get rid of the TB problem from Irish herds,” said Michael Flynn.

The badger is a ‘protected’ wildlife species but each year in Ireland around 6,000 badgers are being culled in problem TB areas – if the vaccine programme works, then this figure could be reduced to 1,000.

Infected or sick badgers tend to be ‘evicted’ from their sets so badgers that are actually seen near sheds or fields, will normally tend to be infected with tuberculosis.

In the current vaccination programme, the badgers are trapped in special restraints before being anaesthetised by a vet and then microchipped and vaccinated.

The Dept. are hoping that when the programme ends in 2017 that over 80% of the badger population will have been vaccinated in the designated area of south-west Galway.

Where over three reactors show up in a herd and where it can be established that ‘buying in’ didn’t cause the problem, the Veterinary Office then carry out a wildlife scan of the area before putting a culling programme in place.

Connacht Tribune

TDs to be lobbied under the skies at Corofin

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Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan

GALWAY IFA are planning an unusual lobbying session of local politicians early next week . . . under open skies rather than behind closed doors.

TDs, senators and councillors have been invited to the outdoor canvas of the politicians on the farm of Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, at Ardskeaghbeg, Ballyglunin, on Monday evening next at 7pm.

IFA hope to have a number of stands at the gathering to highlight the rocketing cost of farm inputs over the past year such as fertiliser, fuel and feed.

“We really are trying to highlight the financial pressure that many farmers are under, and we are pushing hard for a subsidy on fertiliser purchase.

“Last year, the money from the sale of two lambs would buy a tonne of nitrogen – now it takes seven lambs to make that same purchase. There is a compelling case for a fertiliser subsidy to be introduced,” said Stephen Canavan.

He added that IFA in Galway were pushing for a number of measures to be put in place which would target the farmers most in need of assistance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Fertiliser stocks are not moving from suppliers

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Henry Walsh: Fertiliser is just not moving!

FERTILISER just ain’t moving from the pallets of the merchants and co-ops – that’s the message this week from a Galway IFA Environment Rep and dairy farmer.

Henry Walsh from Oranmore told the Farming Tribune that the drystock sector had pulled back massively in terms of the quantity of fertiliser they had purchased this Spring.

“The one worrying aspect of this, is that now is the time of the year to get fertiliser on the land when the growing season is at its peak – early Summer is the time when the maximum grass return can be got, but definitely there has been a major cutback on sales,” said Henry Walsh.

He said that farmers had held back on the purchase of fertiliser due to the price, but he added that there was ‘very little indication of any reductions coming our way’.

“The stocks that are lying around in the yards of the co-ops and farm suppliers were purchased at a high price so there seem little chance of any price reduction coming our way over the Summer,” said Henry Walsh.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Connemara project aims to help farmers live a healthier and safer life on the land

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Head Gardener, Anja Gohlike of Kylemore Abbey Victorian Gardens, (on left), giving a talk on horticulture to a young and enthusiastic class during the Farming for Youth project. Pictured are, back left to right: Jamie Linnane, Finlay Carry, James Canavan, Malachy Gorham, Ivan McLoughlin, Jack O’Neill. Front: Branwen O’Halloran, Cian Conneely, Keenan McCallion, Tom Burke, Diarmuid Joyce, Evan Burke, Tiernan Lee, Ronan Mannion and Caithlin Salmon.

FORUM Connemara – the company designed to promote the region across a number of platforms – have now launched an initiative aimed at improving health and safety for farmers working in the region.

The overall aim of the EIP scheme (European Innovation Partnership) is to try and make farming a safer occupation for all those involved in working the land.

Despite Ireland’s reputation for producing high-quality food by farmers enjoying a great way of life, the sector continues to have a poor occupational safety and health record with a disproportionate level of fatal and serious injuries each year.

Fatalities in the farming sector account for up to 50% of all workplace deaths in Ireland and now FORUM Connemara are involved in an initiative aimed at improving the physical and mental health and their family members across North-West Connemara.

This currently involves 45 local farmers on a specially tailored farming training programme which will include first aid, working at heights, fire safety and quad-bike safety initiatives.

The FORUM Connemara team are currently focusing on completing Farm Risk assessments and safety plans and aim to complete 120 of these with farmers throughout Connemara.

Each farmer that successfully completes a risk assessment and is actively taking actions to address the risks identified will receive a farm safety pack worth €100 as an incentive to put ‘safety first’ on their farms.

The scheme will also host a series of talks that are relevant to the farming community on other issues including one over recent weeks given by Rory Coll, Coll and Co – The Tax Specialists on: Financial Matters for the Farming Community

FORUM Have been running the very successful North Connemara Locally Led Agri-environmental scheme (NCLLAES) since 2019 in North West Connemara.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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