Bovine TB Strategy

A number of constituents have contacted me in recent weeks about controlling the spread of bovine TB.

Bovine TB is one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK. It not only has a devastating impact on our beef and dairy farms, but costs taxpayers £100 million each year.

In England, the Government is delivering a 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease and protect the UK's dairy and beef industries. It is pursuing a wide range of interventions, including one of the world's most rigorous cattle surveillance programmes, strong movement controls, promoting good biosecurity on farms to help farmers prevent the spread of bovine TB, and badger control where the disease is rife.

Operations continue with new and supplementary licences issued in the High Risk Area of England, and in the Low Risk Area of England in the rare event that disease in badgers is linked with infected herds in order to prevent further spread. I believe that all necessary measures must be used to eradicate this devastating disease and Ministers are encouraged to note early success.

Partnerships with other organisations have also enabled the development of toolkits that support farmers to understand their role in the prevention and eradication of the disease, including the TB Hub, the iBTB website and the TB Advisory Service.

A debate was held on the subject yesterday and you can read the Environment Minister’s response here: