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Stackyard News Jul 07

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Better Testing Finds More TB in Cattle

The Badger Trust has welcomed the latest bovine TB statistics, which reveal that more TB testing is finding more TB-infected herds. However, the Badger Trust is concerned that not enough use is being made of the gamma interferon TB test, with the result that a significant number of infected cattle have yet to be found.


Trevor Lawson from the Badger Trust commented: "The important observation is that TB appears to be starting to plateau out. However, we understand that the Government is still a long way short of its target of 50,000 gamma interferon TB tests for 2007 and efforts on that front have to be stepped up. As we have repeatedly warned, better testing will mean the discovery of more hidden TB in the short term. But in the medium term that will be of benefit to the majority of farmers, particularly in TB hotspots, whose cattle are unaffected by the disease and who want to minimise the risk of acquiring the infection from cattle in neighbouring herds.

"We also want to see the Government improve on its TB controls by using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map all the holdings of infected farms so that all possible contiguous herds are tested for TB. EU inspectors have warned that state vets have inadequate information about the movement of cattle between different parcels of the same holding and this poses a major risk of herd-to- herd spread."

link MP Raises Concerns Over Growing Rate of Bovine TB
link Badger Trust Warns Vet's Evidence Based on Anecdote
link Way Open for Effective Badger Control Strategies

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