ARCHIVE: Bovine TB Eradication Group for England
A new England group on eradication of TB in cattle has been set up to make recommendations to the Secretary of State on bovine TB and its eradication. The membership of the group includes representatives from Defra’s Food and Farming Group, Animal Health, the farming industry and the veterinary profession, and it is convened and facilitated by Defra.
Progress to date
27 January 2010
Following a recommendation by the TB Eradication Group, from 1 January 2010 the policy on inconclusive reactors has changed to now allow only one retest, rather than the previous two. The impact assessment (PDF 250KB) which accompanies this change is available here.
26 November 2009
The European Commission published a Decision formally agreeing to the UK’s TB Eradication Plan for 2010. The European Commission also released a press release. The Commission will publish the full plan early in 2010 but a summary can be found here.
8 October 2009
The TB Eradication Group for England presented its Progress Report to stakeholders. The report outlines progress the TB Eradication Group has made in developing a Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England; the risk-based approach they are taking in identifying and assessing new policies; and changes made following recommendations made to the Secretary of State. These recommendations are:
- Testing areas: a decision to change the area basis on which testing frequencies are set to a more risk-based rather than administrative boundary based approach;
- Establish an interim approach to setting testing frequencies, which is intended to be a move in this direction;
- Inconclusive reactor policy: change to allow only one retest.
- Providing advice on bovine TB to restricted farms (implementation in early 2010);
- Providing a dispersal sale option for owners of TB breakdown herds (implementation by the end of October);
- Revise testing requirements for entry to and within AFUs thereby encouraging more AFUs to be set up (implementation by the end of October);
- Encourage the setting up of more ‘quarantine units’ for calves as a trade outlet for calves currently killed on farm (implementation by the end of the year); and
- Providing greater flexibility for short interval testing in breakdown herds in high risk areas (implementation by the end of October).
- Agree in principle to find a new approach to tackling unconfirmed breakdowns and that the terminology around breakdowns will change.
The Group’s recommendations which have already been implemented by Animal Health are:
- subject to a veterinary risk assessment, the general movement licence can be used to allow movements of unrestricted cattle on to a TB breakdown herd for the duration of a breakdown;
- permission to move cattle over longer distances to help facilitate restocking; and
- movement of untested calves direct to slaughter via approved collection centres will be permitted, so reducing the number that have to be killed on-farm.
The Secretary of State has agreed with all the Group’s recommendations.
Copies can also be requested from the Group's co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Further details on the calculations for Parish Testing Intervals can be found on the Animal Health website.
On 16 October, the European Commission’s Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) approved a decision EU funding of monitoring, control and eradication of animal disease programmes for 2010. Their decision includes up to €10 million made available for activities (skin testing, gamma interferon blood testing and compensation) under the UK Bovine TB Eradication Plan for 2010.
Remit of the Group
The Group may invite other experts to contribute to its work as necessary, including other industry bodies and wider interest groups. It will also draw on the advice of the Commission’s TB Task Force, which will be invited to visit GB in early 2009.
The Group will review the current TB strategy and control measures and develop a plan for reducing the incidence of bovine TB from cattle in England and moving towards eventual eradication. It will also assess options to help farmers in high incidence areas maintain viable businesses when under disease restrictions.
A priority output from the work of this group will be a series of measures which can be submitted to the European Commission for approval as part of a formal eradication plan. The group may wish to make recommendations on other issues as they arise, and Defra may also choose to refer specific issues to the group.
The group will look at the options available to address infection in cattle and to reduce the risk of transmission between cattle and between cattle and wildlife, and consider costs and benefits in making recommendations for action.
It will consider options for using vaccination in cattle and badgers. It will also consider any exceptional circumstances or new scientific evidence that might arise relating to the established policy on badger culling for control of TB.
In carrying out this work the Group will have full access to information on Defra’s TB budget and be able to make recommendations on its use within Defra’s funding ceilings. It will also be able to make recommendations for additional expenditure where these can be supported by a robust business case.
Members of the Bovine TB Eradication Group for England:
- Andy Biggs (veterinary profession)
- David Calpin (Defra)
- Nigel Gibbens (Defra)
- Brian Harding (Defra)
- Bill Harper (farming industry)
- David Maughan (farming industry)
- Nick Coulson (Animal Health)
- Carl Padgett (veterinary profession)
- Kevin Pearce (farming industry)
- Jan Rowe (farming industry)
- Paul Griffith (farming industry)
The Bovine TB Eradication Group for England met for the first time on 27 November 2008.
If you have any enquiries about the work of the Group, please e-mail the Group’s co-ordinator: email@example.com
Meeting highlight notes
The latest meeting highlight notes are available on the new Defra website.
Page last modified: 11 January 2012