Proposals on TB Go to Consultation

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), February 11, 2004 | Go to article overview

Proposals on TB Go to Consultation


Byline: DAVID McCOY

A CONSULTATION on proposals for short term cattle-based measures to prevent the further geographical spread of bovine TB in Great Britain has been launched by Government.

The consultation also seeks views on the key principles on which a new long-term strategy for tackling bovine TB will be developed.

There are seven proposals for short-term measures. The core proposal is the introduction of a legal requirement for livestock farmers to carry out pre-movement testing of cattle moving from one- and two-year herd testing regimes to other herds.

Farmers will be required to pay for the testing, which aims to protect the vast majority of cattle herds that are not affected by bovine TB. The Government has for many years advised producers to carry out pre-movement tests in TB high-risk areas.

Other proposals aim to improve chances of early detection and prevention of potential TB hotspots as well as enhancing TB surveillance and control measures.

Looking towards a new sustainable long-term TB strategy, the consultation asks questions on a wide-range of issues including how the Government can establish targets, balance costs, benefits and risks, work in partnership with all the key interest groups and how policy can be developed in the light of emerging scientific evidence. That will include evidence from the on-going Krebs trials. The Government is also keen to learn from the Irish trials once they have been reported and evaluated.

Chief Veterinary Officer Jim Scudamore, said bovine TB was the biggest animal health challenge facing the Government, farmers, vets and wildlife groups, adding that it was vital to stop the geographical spread of the disease.

While the disease is only affecting around five per cent of the herds, it must in the short-term be stopped from spreading to clean areas. …

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