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Government Data Illustrates Spreading TB Problem

14 March 2013

UK - The threat of bovine tuberculosis (TB) did not subside during 2012 as 37,753 animals were slaughtered due to compulsory TB culling.

Livestock sector concerns were confirmed by Defra statistics that showed 10.23 per cent rise in instances of TB culls across Great Britain as the England figure increased to 28,284. 

New herd incidents increased from 4,901 to 5,171, indicating the greater effect TB is having on the farming community. Cheshire, the East Midlands, the North and South east, reported more cases of then disease. 

NFU President Peter Kendall said this has to stop: "“TB is one of the largest threats facing our beef and dairy farmers,” he said. “In 1998 we had 6,000 cattle with TB in the whole of Great Britain. From today we see that by the end of 2012 this figure has jumped to 38,010 - 28,284 in England alone. This means we have seen almost ten per cent more cattle culled in Great Britain, and a seven per cent increase in England, because of TB since 2011.

Farming Minister David Heath stressed the impact goes beyong farmers as tax payer foot the bill of disease control. “Bovine TB continues to spread at an unacceptable rate, leading to the slaughter of thousands of cattle and ongoing misery for our dairy farmers," said Mr Heath.

“What was once confined to a small area of the south west has the potential to become a national crisis and if left unchecked could cost the taxpayer £1 billion over the next ten years. We cannot afford to sit back and let this happen, which is why we are doing everything we can to get on top of this dreadful disease.”

 

TheCattleSite News Desk



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