Slight increase in TB incidence rates in herds across England

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published its quarterly statistics on tuberculosis (TB) in cattle in Great Britain (GB).

In England overall, the herd incidence rate for the 12 months to end March 2021 was 9.5, an increase of 0.1 on the previous 12 months.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, the herd prevalence rate remained constant in the High Risk Area of England, but increased in both the Edge Area and Low Risk Area.

In Scotland, which has had officially TB-free (OTF) status since 2009, herd incidence and herd prevalence rates remain very low and stable.

In Wales, herd incidence remained constant but herd prevalence increased slightly between March 2020 and March 2021.

The total number of animals slaughtered due to a TB incident in England in the 12 months to March 2021, decreased 6% on the previous 12 months to 28,356.

In Wales the number slaughtered was 10,258, a decrease of 11%.

Tensions rise at UFU meeting

Tensions were said to have “run very high” during a meeting this week on bovine TB between the chief vet of Northern Ireland and Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) executive committee members.

During the meeting, which was to discuss the effects of bovine TB, the union threatened to withdraw its cooperation with the department’s veterinary service, accusing it of “inaction” over the disease.

A statement from the union explained that on Wednesday evening (June 16) its executive committee met with Northern Ireland’s chief veterinary officer and his team online.

“During the discussion, UFU members were very open about their dissatisfaction regarding the extent of DAERA’s inaction with TB,” it read.