The Tenant Farmers Association has said that it deplores the lack
of leadership shown by the Government in tackling the rampant spread
of bovine TB in Great Britain.
The TFA’s bovine TB representative and South West Regional
Chairman Barrie Rose said “The TFA believes that there has
been a reluctance to tackle the real issues including, most significantly,
the amount of disease which exists within wildlife and in particular,
amongst TB infected badgers. The announcement made by DEFRA Minister
Ben Bradshaw on 15 December falls a long way short of what is required
to tackle the serious problem of Bovine TB”.
“Although the TFA supported the Government’s Randomised
Badger Culling Trials [“the Krebs trials”] we did so
with the proviso that the Government took action in the interim
to deal with the level of disease that existed in wildlife prior
to full scientific results being obtained. However, this did not
occur and as a result of the Government’s failure in this
area, bovine TB has spread rapidly throughout the country. We lay
the blame for this at the door of the Government which has failed
to take the action required in order to stem the level of disease” said
The TFA believes that the goal of policy over the next ten years
should be to see the eradication of bovine TB. This may seem a
tall order but the TFA believes that it is something which is achievable
over that timeframe. The TFA believes that the Government and industry
should be working together in order to achieve that goal.
“The time for further talking shops, consultation and survey
work is over. The TFA calls on the Government to lay out an action
plan for the achievement of the goal to eradicate TB over the next
ten years” said Mr Rose.
The TFA has issued a paper setting out in more detail its response
to the Government’s announcement and the issues it believes
the Government should be implementing now. In summary it asks for
- 1. The overall goal of policy over the next ten years
should be to see the complete eradication of bovine TB.
- 2. There
should be no regional differentiation of policy.
- 3. The Government’s
roles in controlling TB should be:
a) To ensure that bovine TB is eradicated in wildlife.
b) To ensure the swifter removal of infected cattle from holdings.
c) To ensure the payment of fair compensation for slaughtered
d) To carry out research into the genetic disposition of cattle
that gain immunity.
e) To carry out research into vaccination for cattle.
f) To carry out research into polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- 4. The TFA rejects outright pre-movement testing.
- 5. There should
be universal TB testing of all cattle on an annual basis.
- 6. Skin
tests and culture tests should be the main form of testing for
cattle backed by gamma interferon following a previous positive
test on a holding.
- 7. All infected badgers should be culled nationwide
starting with all infected badgers within a six-mile radius of
holdings which have had a TB breakdown in the last twelve-months.
Table valuations should not be introduced unless greater recognition
is given to animals of high genetic merit or cross-bred cattle.
Table valuations should not be introduced unless the Government
are prepared to introduce culling of infected badgers as noted
at point 7.
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