Response to the TBSPG Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Strategy for Northern Ireland

Closed 5 Feb 2018

Opened 30 Nov 2017


In autumn 2014, the then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill, established the TB Strategic Partnership Group (TBSPG) as an independent expert advisory group to develop a long-term strategy to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB) from the Northern Ireland cattle population.

This consultation sets out the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA’s) proposals for a new strategic approach to the eradication of bTB.  The proposals have been developed following consideration of, and in response to, the report ‘Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Strategy for Northern Ireland’. The report, which was produced by the TBSPG, was published in December 2016.

From a long-term perspective it is accepted that the current bTB Eradication Programme has been effective at controlling the disease, however, information on disease trends shows that it cannot be considered as a viable solution for eradication.  A new multi-dimensional approach is required to drive progress to achieve the goal of eradication. 

International experience has shown that the eradication of bTB can only be achieved by simultaneously addressing all the factors that meaningfully contribute to the persistence and spread of the disease in infected animal populations.  Action is required across all of the themes covered in the consultation to secure a fresh and integrated approach to allow Northern Ireland to achieve eradication and eventual bTB-free status.

In Northern Ireland, DAERA, as the competent authority, is required by a range of European Union (EU) and national legislation to test and eradicate bTB. It delivers the bTB Eradication Programme and develops the policy behind the Programme.

The bTB Programme provides an essential underpinning to the ability of Northern Ireland to trade internationally and contributes to the commercial success of Northern Ireland’s export-dependent agri-food sector.  Therefore, control and eventual eradication of the disease, regardless of the position of Northern Ireland within the EU, will remain a high priority for the agri-food industry.

The consultation document and associated assessments are available at: 
We are seeking your views on the recommendations and proposals set out the consultation document, which DAERA believes will lead to the reduction, control and ultimate eradication of bTB in Northern Ireland.
Associated Assessments 
Equality and Rural Needs assessments have been carried out to consider potential impacts of the proposals within the consultation. A partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) has been carried out to consider the potential impacts of the proposals on business.
These assessments can be viewed at: 
We welcome any comments or views you may have in respect of our assessments. These should be sent directly to the TBBR Team at: 


Why We Are Consulting

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  • All stakeholders


  • Farming
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Wildlife
  • Veterinary
  • Scientific