There have been a number of TB outbreaks in farms in the Limavady area, a recent meeting of the Causeway Coast and Glens council has been told.
The claim was made at a planning meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council last week, as Planning Consultant Carol McIlvar spoke on behalf of applicant, Mr David Forgie.
Mr Forgie’s application for a agricultural barn at Lisnakilly Farm on the Seacoast Road appeared on the schedule as refusal by Planners.
Planners felt the application had not demonstrated that there was an ‘exceptional need’ for the barn.
A site meeting had taken place at Mr Forgie’s farm before the start of the Planning Committee.
Speaking on behalf of Mr Forgie, who is a leading farm machinery dealer, Ms Mcllvar told the meeting that her client wanted to reactivate his old herd number and take a back seat in the machinery business.
She told the meeting that Mr Forgie had previously shared a shed for his cattle with another farmer, but under the new regulations that was no longer permitted.
Ms McIlvar told members that the site for the barn was away from the commercial business, that attracted visitors all day.
She added that it was ‘good practice’ for the barn to be away from the public road to ‘avoid contamination’ as farmers that visited the commercial yard usually came in tractors, and could easily spread disease from their farms to Mr Forgie’s via their tractor tyres.
“We know from speaking to other farmers that there have been a number of TB outbreaks in the Limavady area,” said Ms McIlvar.
“We understand that the badgers are fleeing the wind farm,” she said.
The Planning Consultant pointed out that TB not only had an impact on animals but it was also dangerous for humans.”
On being put to a vote, members agreed with the recommendation to refuse the application.
Meanwhile, DUP MLA for East Londonderry Adrian McQuillan, has said that the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development is failing farmers in East Londonderry in the fight against TB.
“The Minister, Michelle O’Neill, is failing in reducing and eradicating TB on our farms as well as creating difficulties for local farmers in the red tape applied to the process,” said McQuillan.
“This is not what our local farmers need in the current climate,” said the Garvagh based politician.
“It is difficult enough to weather on its own, without the Minister making life more difficult for our farmers.”
McQuillan said that he has been contacted by numerous farmers in the East Londonderry area whose cattle have been diagnosed with TB and culled.