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Bovine TB
Defra proposes new measures to tackle bovine TB in England

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DEFRA is seeking views on a range of new measures to tackle bovine TB in England. In three separate consultations launched on August 28, Defra sets out proposals for:

  • Improving cattle controls, including a proposal to introduce compulsory postmovement testing for cattle entering low-risk areas of England;

  • Changing the criteria for future badger control licences;

  • Controlling bovine TB in non-bovine animals such as pigs, goats and deer.

Defra says that all three consultations link to the Government's wider strategy for achieving Officially Bovine Tuberculosis Free status for England.

Cattle controls

The proposals for strengthening the controls on cattle include the introduction of statutory postmovement TB testing of cattle moved, either directly or via a market, from herds in England that are on annual or more frequent surveillance testing, and from herds in designated counties of Wales, to all herds in the low-risk area (LRA) of England. Defra is proposing that the comparative skin test is used for postmovement testing, but says it is keen to receive views on the merits of making the γ-interferon blood test compulsory for the purpose of statutory postmovement testing in addition to the skin test.

It is also proposing a number of exemptions from the postmovement testing requirement, which would not apply to cattle slaughtered within 120 days of arrival at the destination herd in the LRA. A further proposed exemption would be for animals moved to and from a place of veterinary treatment, provided that the animal is returned directly to its premises of origin after the treatment, or is killed or moved directly to slaughter.

Other measures proposed in the …

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