Number of cattle blood tests increased to help fight TB

UK - The number of diagnostic blood tests designed to identify bovine TB in cattle more quickly is being significantly increased from today in England and Wales.
calendar icon 23 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
The gamma interferon test will be used in parallel with the existing skin test, particularly to prevent disease becoming established in areas where there is little infection.

The gamma tests will be carried out in certain specific circumstances – including on cattle which have given a negative skin test but which are in herds with new TB incidents in low-risk areas. However, the test will also be available as a tool to help control disease in high-risk areas.

The cattle-testing programme is a crucial part of the Government's efforts to reduce bovine TB. The skin test is central to that programme but scientific and veterinary studies have suggested that wider use of gamma interferon, in a controlled and targeted way, could improve the testing regime - especially in preventing low risk or clean areas from developing into TB hotspots.

The Government will pay for all gamma interferon tests which the State Veterinary Service carries out.

Full details of how the gamma interferon test will be implemented from today are available on the Defra website at www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/tb/control/gamma.htm .

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