Strict Cattle Controls In Cull Area

WALES, UK - Strict new cattle control measures were introduced in the west Wales intensive action pilot area on Saturday May 1st 2010 as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s programme to eradicate bovine TB in cattle.
calendar icon 5 May 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Within the pilot area in west Wales, 42 per cent of cattle owners have had at least one case of TB in their herd since 2003.

The enhanced cattle measures will include:

  • Testing cattle herds every six months.

  • All breakdowns, whether or not “confirmed” post-mortem, will require a clear test, 60 days after a positive test, followed by a further clear test after a further 60 days, before Official TB Free Status is regained and movement restrictions removed.

  • All breakdowns will be subject to tracing which will generate additional testing for associated cattle herds.

  • Restricting cattle movements within and outside the area. All British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) linkages and Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs) between holdings inside and outside the pilot area are being cancelled, requiring farmers to report all movements to BCMS and comply with pre-movement testing requirements.

Farmers have also received visits from their private vets to discuss bio-security arrangements on their farms to reduce risk of TB getting into and spreading in their herds. This is a five year project, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and progress will be reviewed annually.

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr. Christianne Glossop said: “The bovine TB eradication programme we are implementing in West Wales, which is a long term project which will last for five years, includes a range of measures designed to restrict and ultimately eradicate TB in cattle.

“In the pilot area, local vets have been working with farmers since before Christmas to improve bio-security on farms. The additional measures we are introducing are an absolutely vital element of the programme.

“We know that cattle and badgers are the main sources of the disease and that, if we want to achieve our aim of eradicating bovine TB, we have to tackle the disease in both species.

“Over the last 10 years, £100m has been paid out in compensation to farmers. Since 2003, 42 per cent of cattle owners in the pilot area have had at least one case of TB in their herd. We simply can not allow this situation to remain unchecked."

Across Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government has been implementing stricter cattle measures, including testing of herds at last once a year and before moving cattle. Infected cattle are now being identified earlier because of additional testing and removed more quickly. The Welsh Assembly Government intend to amend legislation in due course that will allow Ministers to strengthen pre-movement testing regulations, and penalise farmers who do not comply with TB requirements or have overdue tests by cutting their compensation.

The cattle controls are being introduced before the implementation of a badger control strategy in the area.

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