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."
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