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Stackyard News Aug 06

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Roll out of TB blood test (IFN-g) is positive move

The National Beef Association has welcomed the imminent roll out by Defra of gamma interferon (IFN-G) screening for, TB claiming the adoption of the blood test is a positive move for farmers.


"It will be particularly useful for breeders in low-TB areas who have been hit with the disease, possibly through translocation, and who want their herd swept for reactors that have been missed by the skin test so they can be clear of movement restriction much quicker than they otherwise would be," explained NBA chairman, Duff Burrell.

"IFN-g will not be used as a herd test but if the blood test is introduced after a skin test has shown TB to be present in a herd its ability to identify positives that have slipped by allows it to be used to reduce the risk of cattle to cattle transmission within a herd - particularly as some cattle can evade the skin test even though visible TB lesions have developed within them."

"This means some blood tested herds will become TB free much earlier than they would have been and the risk of regular re-infection within the herd is either reduced or eliminated - which offers many advantages to both farmers, and government in areas where the chances of re-infection from diseased badgers is low."

"The NBA supports Defra's proposition that the IFN-g blood test should be used to help make sure that areas that are clean of TB continue to be clean but regrets that its use in high-TB areas will be constrained because of the risk of constant re-infection from badgers with TB which have still to be controlled with the resolution that the currently desperate situation with TB in 1-2 year testing parishes demands," Mr Burrell added.

link New TB testing regime is step forward but no solution
link Further action to improve testing of cattle for bovine TB
link Badger Trust welcomes TB consultation results

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