NFU Praises Irish TB Eradication Programme

UK - A fact-finding mission by the NFU to Ireland to look at how it deals with bovine TB has revealed both regular cattle testing combined with badger culling in high incidence areas are leading to the successful eradication of the disease.
calendar icon 3 June 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

And fears perturbation could be worsened by a cull in England and Wales have also been quashed in a new report published by the International Society of Infectious Diseases.

"Reductions in TB incidence achieved through proactive badger culling persisted for more than one year after culling discontinued."
Segment from the International Society of Infectious Diseases report.

The report states:

“Reductions in TB incidence achieved through proactive badger culling persisted for more than one year after culling discontinued. Beneficial effects inside culling areas increased in magnitude and detrimental effects were no longer observed on neighbouring lands.”

During the visit NFU leaders were told the culling strategy in Ireland is seen as a short to medium term solution for eradicating the disease with vaccination forming the long-term strategy. Annual cattle testing, in parallel with a well planned and co-ordinated wildlife strategy has reduced the number of TB reactors from in excess of 100,000 per year to around 20,000 per year. This should be contrasted with the disease incidence levels in Great Britain which are showing a 22% increase on last year and have seen, over a 10 year period, the number of cattle slaughtered as reactors increase from 3,213 to an unacceptable 26,060.

NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond led the visit to Ireland. He said: “What they have achieved in Ireland shows with government determination, and working together with farmers and conservationists, we can achieve success in terms of clamping down on this pernicious disease.

“The strategy in Ireland is a good example of joint working and effective use of resource and shows how investing money in a sensible way can bring bTB under control.” table>

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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