August 14, 2013
UK launches cattle skin tests to halt bovine TB
In an aim to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB), herds of cattle in Derbyshire are required to have skin tests.
The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England believes stamping out infection in areas where the disease is spreading will save farmers an estimated £27 million (US$42 million) over 10 years by limiting the impact of bovine TB on their businesses.
The new measures include the immediate skin testing of any herds within a three-kilometre radius of a farm with a new TB outbreak, and another test after six months; herds that have their TB-free status suspended following skin testing will need to show two further clean tests; herds that have their TB-free status withdrawn will require a more sensitive test for spotting infection; and more funding for badger vaccination trials.
Applications can be made to a £250,000 (US$386,000) fund for up to half the costs of the first year of new vaccination projects.
Board chairman Michael Seals said, "The measures are tough but necessary and could provide significant savings to farmers."