TB figures are mixed news for farmers – NFU

Today’s bovine TB statistics are mixed news for farmers with the figures showing a reduction in new herds going down with TB and a reduction in the number of cattle slaughtered last year compared to 2012. But the statistics also highlights that the disease is still a massive problem for beef and dairy farmers and needs to be dealt with on all fronts, said the NFU today.

The statistics for 2013 released by Defra show that 4,815 new herd incidents were recorded in Great Britain during 2013, compared to 5,153 in 2012. The number of cattle slaughtered in 2013 was 32,620, compared to 37,734 in 2012.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “While it is good news that fewer new herds went down with bTB last year and fewer cattle were slaughtered than in 2012, the figures show that the disease remains a massive problem for beef and dairy farmers.

“A drop in the figures is welcome but there are often fluctuations in long-term diseases like this. Bovine Tb continues to devastate farming family businesses and it is vital that action is taken on all fronts to control and eradicate it.

“We have always said that we need to use every tool available to tackle bTB. Farmers are continuing to play their part in tackling the disease through strengthened cattle movement controls, stringent cattle testing, and by improving biosecurity on-farm.

“Vaccination of both cattle and badgers when it is available and practical also has a key role to play. But unless the reservoir of disease in wildlife is tackled in areas where bTB is rife farmers will continue to fight a losing battle against this disease.”

Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box twice a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Share.

About The Author