The review, by Sir Charles Godfray, urges farmers to “take more ownership of the disease” and notes the role of private vets providing bTB advice should be supported.
The presence of infected badgers does pose a bTB threat to cattle, but the livestock industry must take greater responsibility for on-farm controls, biosecurity and safe trading practices to stop the disease spreading, a Government report has concluded.
The review of the Government’s 25-year bTB strategy by Sir Charles Godfray, population biologist and fellow of the Royal Society, has found badger culling does play a part in controlling the disease.
He added: “Today, bovine TB incidences in England – definitely in cattle and possibly in badgers – are, at best, roughly stable. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
As well as urging farmers to “take more ownership of the disease”, the document “Bovine TB Strategy Review” has recommended that while Defra retains high-level policymaking authority, it should devolve much of the disease control operations to a new body that would take over functions performed by the APHA, Natural England and local authorities.
The review notes the role of private vets providing bTB advice is particularly important and should be supported, taking into account the true costs of its provision for veterinary businesses.