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Incidence of TB in Cattle

26 August 2008

UK - The incidence level of bovine tuberculosis in British cattle are on the rise, according to new figures published by Defra.

According to the Department of Environment Food and Rural Afairs (Defra), the provisional May 2008 estimate lies above the incidence rate for May 2007.

However, Defra says care needs to be taken not to read too much into a single month's figure, especially as this figure includes a high number of unclassified incidents.

Provisional statistics show a 17% increase in the number of new TB incidents in January - May 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

Combined with a decrease in the number of herds tested over the same period, this equates to a provisional overall increase in the TB incidence rate (new TB incidents, as a proportion of tests on unrestricted herds) of 25%.

The provisional average confirmed incidence rate (confirmed new TB incidents, as a proportion of tests on unrestricted herds) was 4.9% for January - May 2008, compared to 3.5% for the same period in 2007.

Chart 1 below shows TB incidence for the more recent data.

Chart 1

Percentage of tests on unrestricted herds
resulting in a confirmed new incident (from 2003)

Chart 2 below shows the long-term trend for TB incidence.

Chart 2

Percentage of tests on unrestricted herds
resulting in a confirmed new incident


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