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Report Highlights UK TB Problem

21 February 2014

EU - A new report has quantified the struggle UK farmers have against bovine Tuberculosis (TB) when compared to their European counterparts.

In 2012, the UK’s cattle sector was the only one in Europe to see a rise in tuberculosis, which increased 10 per cent in terms of herds with the costly disease. 

Elsewhere, cases were either comparable to 2011 figures or decreased.

This summary appears in a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report on zoonotic diseases which outlined a drop in Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli in animals and humans in 2012.

The reasons behind the TB increase are currently unclear.

The report mentioned that ten other animal species, including wildlife animals, had tested positive for TB across Europe in 2012. 

In contrast, Scotland was confirmed as being officially tuberculosis free.

Cases in humans reached 125, a 15.5 per cent decrease on the previous year and the second consecutive year of TB reductions in humans.

Brucellosis Down Too

The report also described a five year decline in Brucella cases for both humans and cattle dating back to 2007.

The five year trend leaves brucellosis in 0.05 per cent of EU cattle herds.

The biggest improvements have been seen in Italy and Spain – two countries now officially Brucellosis free (OBF)- where human health progress has been linked with reductions in cases on farm.

Brucellosis rates, like TB, varied across individual member states. EFSA stated 16 countries were officially brucellosis free and 19 were officially Brucella-melitensis free for goats and sheep.

Portugal and the UK stood out as the other two OBF regions in 2012, the report added.

Lower Brucellosis burden on farm coincided with a 2.4 per cent contraction in human cases. This took the figure down from 336 to 328.

However, one human fatality from Brucellosis was recorded and two member states reported Brucella in milk samples in processing plants.

The report revealed a three year drop in cases from 2005 was halted until 2011 when figures when figures stabilised. 

Further Reading

You can read more about the report by clicking here.

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms

 

Top image via Shutterstock



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