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Licensed farmers and landowners will need to continue to ensure that their contractors receive rigorous training to maintain high standards of effectiveness, humaneness and safety.”New measures have been announced today as part of the government’s ongoing strategy to eradicate bovine TB.
Those measures include: Wider use of blood tests alongside the current skin test in the high risk area to provide a more sensitive testing regime in TB affected herds, minimising the risk of leaving infected animals in herds; A plan to introduce new, more coherent powers to manage the TB risk in pigs, sheep, goats, deer and camelids, to bring them more in line with cattle controls.
Mrs Leadsom said achieving this status for the low risk area is a key step in the Government’s 25-year plan for the whole of the UK to be TB-free by 2038.
The Environment Secretary said: “Gaining global recognition that more than half of England is TB-free will be a significant milestone in our long-term plan to eradicate this devastating disease, and will open up new trading opportunities for farmers.“We have much still to do in the worst affected parts of the country, but this shows that our strategy - combining practical biosecurity measures, a robust cattle movement and testing regime, and badger control in areas where the disease is rife - is right and is working.”Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said the announcement was a welcome boost for beef and dairy farmers in Low Risk areas.“Gaining this status for the north and east of England ahead of schedule shows that the Government’s comprehensive 25-year strategy is having an impact,” Mr Raymond said.“If we are to achieve what everybody ultimately wants – a TB free England – it is vital that all elements of this strategy are implemented in full in the areas of the country where they will have most impact.
“The postponement of the enhanced cattle movement control measures consultation will be very frustrating for many farmers in the low risk areas and Defra needs to clearly explain the reasons behind this delay.” A Defra spokesperson said: “ib uk is an online app for sharing information about local bovine TB risk, allowing farmers to make informed decisions and reduce the risk to their herds of contracting the disease.” The TB Order (England) 2014 includes a provision allowing Defra to publish TB breakdown information to help ensure cattle keepers are aware of the TB risks in their area and so are better equipped to protect their herds.
The ib TB map, which can be viewed here, enables users to pinpoint an area of the country by either clicking with a mouse or entering postcodes or County Parish Holding Herds (CPHH). By zooming in is possible to click on the locations of farms that have suffered breakdowns in the past five years.Farmers Guardian and Farmers are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.All material published on and Farmers is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said the new website would ‘help farmers find out about any ongoing b TB breakdowns near their farms which will help them make informed business decisions’.But she added: "However, there are genuine concerns over the fact that this information will be readily available to anyone, particularly given the problems farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset have faced, and we will continue to work with Defra on this project.” The interactive map appeared to be the only surviving element of a proposed package of TB measures, including tighter cattle controls, that was due to be published on Tuesday but was postponed.