Veterinary Record 173:94 doi:10.1136/vr.101676
  • Research
  • Paper

Challenges to quality testing for bovine tuberculosis in Ireland; perspectives from major stakeholders

  1. 1Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
  2. 2Glendalough, co. Wicklow, Ireland
  3. 3Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
  1. E-mail for correspondence: catherine.devitt{at}


Within the national bovine tuberculosis (bTB) eradication programme in Ireland, concern has been expressed about the quality of testing by veterinarians. However, there is little published evidence supporting this concern, or the challenges that undermine quality testing. Qualitative research methods were used to gather the perspectives of major stakeholders in the bTB eradication (BTE) scheme on the challenges to quality testing for bovine tuberculosis in Ireland. These stakeholders included private veterinarians, government veterinarians, senior managers and herd owners, on the quality of bTB testing and the barriers to improvement. Results are grouped into challenges that exist in the testing environment (ie, at a farm level), and challenges associated with the skills environment (ie, professional skills involved with conducting the test). Challenges in the testing environment include inadequate on-farm testing conditions; lack of clarity on responsibility to ensure adequate testing environment; and the influence of the veterinarian-client relationship. Challenges in the skills environment include deficiencies in the development and supervision of testing skills among trainees and newly qualified veterinarians; and deficiencies in testing standards at a practice level. Regular supervision of testing is necessary to ensure standards. The importance of a continued understanding of the disease (and its eradication) supported by a partnership, cooperative approach between all stakeholders, is emphasised.

  • Accepted June 2, 2013.
  • Published Online First 25 June 2013

Responses to this article

Sign up for job alerts

Vet Record Careers features a comprehensive database of vet jobs.
Browse for your next job, or set personalised job alerts so you hear about vacancies as soon as they go online.
Find out more at Vet Record Careers

Free Sample Issue

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of the Veterinary Record.
View free sample issue >>

Navigate This Article