13 % leap in bovine TB since April

UK - Bovine TB incidence is back on the increase. Since April the number of cases has been rising again, following a sudden and dramatic decline in the first few months of this year.
calendar icon 17 November 2006
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Defra figures show that in the year up to September 30 there were 2,458 TB incidents compared with 2,774 in the same period last year – 11 per cent less.

There were 1,379 confirmed new incidents this year, with the results of another 172 test pending, compared with 1,567 in the same period last year.

But this masks what has happened since April. Between April 30 and September 30 there were 1,220 new incidents and 710 confirmed new cases compared with 1,075 new and 560 confirmed cases in the same period in 2005.

This represents a 13 per cent increase in TB incidents since April. It is significant as Defra Ministers have been citing the year-on-year fall in cases, which was about 30 per cent at one point, as one of the reasons why the decision on culling badgers has been put on hold since the summer.

However, a Defra spokesman said the latest figures did not change anything. He said Defra was waiting to see if there was any change to the long-term trend in incidence of what is a cyclical disease.

Source: farmersguardian.com
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