The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the announcement that additional contiguous testing and increased veterinary support for farmers will be implemented in herds in North Wales following a local spike in TB incidents.
The measures are part of the regionalised TB Eradication Programme, which allows Welsh Government to introduce measures at a local level in response to localised increases in the disease. The programme includes targets that would see Wales become Officially TB free between 2036 and 2041.
BVA Welsh Branch President Sarah Carr said: “We welcome these latest steps towards eliminating bovine TB in Wales. The comprehensive, regionalised strategy has already contributed to a significant reduction in incidence across Wales in recent years. We hope the implementation of additional contiguous testing in the Intermediate TB Area North (ITBAN) combined with the introduction of Government subsidised “keep it out” veterinary visits for herds which have tested negative to contiguous testing will stem the growing number of TB incidents in this area.
“We are particularly pleased that these visits will be undertaken by the farms’ regular veterinary practices who can bring their tailored knowledge of the local disease picture, biosecurity and the farms’ cattle trading policy and informed purchasing.
“We were delighted to hear that a bTB Centre of Excellence for Wales will open at Aberystwyth University later this year and we support the continuing efforts of Welsh government, academics, industry, farmers and vets in achieving the long-term goal of an Officially TB free Wales.”