03/05/2012

Strengthened cattle controls to help eradicate bovine TB

Measures to reduce the risk of bovine TB being spread between cattle are to be strengthened as part of the Government's plan to eradicate the disease in England, DEFRA minister Jim Paice has announced.

Measures to reduce the risk of bovine TB being spread between cattle are to be strengthened as part of the Government’s plan to eradicate the disease in England.
 
Changes to cattle controls coming in as of July 1, 2012.From July 1, 2012, amendments to the rules on cattle movements will come into force, alongside changes to compensation policy, including reduced payments for owners of TB affected herds with overdue tests.

Agriculture minister Jim Paice said: "These strengthened measures, alongside work to pilot badger culling, and the development of badger and cattle vaccines, aim to help control the disease and eventually eradicate it."
 
Changes to cattle controls were announced in July 2011 as part of a package of measures to tackle bovine TB.

The final details of the changes to be introduced on July 1 include:

  • Removing the exemption allowing cattle held on a farm for under 30 days to be moved without being tested;
  • Removing the pre-movement testing exemption for movements within 'Sole Occupancy Authorities' that have holdings in high and low risk TB areas;
  • Pre-movement testing for cattle moved from higher TB risk herds to agricultural shows where cattle are housed or are held there for more than 24 hours; and
  • Discouraging late testing of cattle for bovine TB to reduce disease spread risks for all cattle, by reducing compensation for owners of TB affected herds if tests are overdue by more than 60 days.

 
Agriculture minister Jim PaiceTo further reduce the risk of TB spreading we will tighten controls around linked premises and, as of July 1, no new sole occupancy authorities will be approved; and no new cattle tracing system links between holdings in high and low TB risk areas will be approved, with existing links between high and low risk areas being removed on a phased basis.

Mr Paice added: "The farming community has shown it is willing to shoulder its share of the burden to tackle bovine TB. There is already a comprehensive range of robust TB in cattle control measures in place, but we must continuously look for ways to tighten them if we are ever going to get on top of this devastating disease."
 
Additional cattle categories are also being introduced to make the TB compensation system more transparent and to remove some anomalies:

  • A new compensation category will be introduced for young pedigree beef animals; and
  • The dairy calved animals category will be split into two age bands.
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