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DEFRA has announced that all cattle testing positive for bovine TB are to have a DNA sample retained by Animal Health. The announcement was made on March 31 after evidence emerged that some cattle farmers in south-west England and the Midlands may have been swapping cattle ear tags illegally, and retaining productive TB-positive animals within the herd while sending less productive ones to slaughter in their place.
Evidence of the alleged fraud followed an investigation instigated by Gloucestershire Trading Standards, which reviewed TB cattle sent to two slaughterhouses. Investigations are ongoing there and at slaughterhouses in the south west and Midlands. From mid-April, cattle that test positive for bovine TB will be tagged immediately using an ear tag that allows removal of a small tissue sample at the time of insertion. This sample can then be DNA tested by Animal …