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Stackyard News Jan 08

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Holistic Approach Needed to Control Bovine TB

CLA Wales, the rural economy expert, welcomes the conclusion of the report of the Welsh Assembly Government Rural Development Sub-Committee’s inquiry into bovine TB that a ’holistic approach’ is required.


Welsh Director Julian Salmon says this conclusion confirms the CLA’s long held interpretation of the international evidence that the EU’s policy of eradication cannot be achieved unless it deals with the disease in both domestic animals and susceptible wildlife vectors.

"The aim of the policy should be to establish freedom from this ‘zoonic’ disease in both the economically important domestic species of cattle, as well as secure healthy wildlife species", he adds. "This can only be achieved by a combination of approaches including the targeted culling of domestic and wildlife reservoirs".

The report says there is a "real link" between bovine TB in cattle and the disease in wildlife, but it cannot be controlled and eradicated by one method alone. The Rural Development Sub-Committee’s inquiry into bovine TB has concluded that only a combination of increased on farm biosecurity, the understanding and control of TB in the wildlife population and the speedy and accurate identification and management of reactors and at risk herds will deal with the disease.

The Committee’s report makes a number of recommendations, including the establishment of a pilot area for culling badgers, and the annual testing of cattle. But the report stresses the importance of all stakeholders, including farmers and wildlife groups, taking ownership of the problem.

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