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Bovine TB
Government plans to move away from ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to bovine TB

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DEFRA is seeking views on proposals for a ‘comprehensive and risk-based’ strategy for tackling bovine TB, which, it says, ‘explicitly moves away from a one-size-fits-all approach’.

The draft strategy, which has been developed by the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and the Bovine TB Eradication Advisory Group for England, aims to eradicate bovine TB from England, progressively achieving Officially bovine TB Free (OTF) status for areas of the country incrementally, while maintaining a sustainable livestock industry.

In a written parliamentary statement on July 4, Owen Paterson, Secretary of State at Defra, said that the strategy drew on other countries' successful approaches to eradicating bovine TB, including those in Australia, New Zealand, Michigan in the USA and the Republic of Ireland.

‘These demonstrate the importance of applying stringent cattle control measures in combination with tackling any significant reservoir of infection in wildlife, whether it is water buffalo, brush-tailed possums, white-tailed deer, or badgers,’ he said. ‘An additional factor which has contributed to their success is the fact that their programmes are either led by industry or delivered by government and industry, with both parties contributing to the cost.’

Mr Paterson added that, as well as using all available tools, the Government would continue to develop new ones. The Government would continue to invest in the development of an oral vaccine for badgers and in new diagnostic tests for TB in cattle and badgers, which could open up alternative approaches to dealing with the disease. He said he was committed to meeting the minimum …

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