Controlling the disease – the Government’s approach
The Government is committed to a comprehensive and balanced approach to tackling bovine TB, with eradication as the long-term goal, but this is likely to take several decades. Our first aim is to stop the disease getting worse and then to reduce the spread and prevalence of the disease to a point where eradication becomes an achievable goal. Cattle measures will remain central to the Government’s approach, which needs to be comprehensive, risk-based and staged.
Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England
On 19 January 2012 the Secretary of State announced that the two pilot areas will be West Gloucestershire and West Somerset.
23 October 2012: Defra has agreed to the request of the National Farmers Union (NFU) to postpone the two pilot badger culls (in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire) until summer 2013, to allow farmers to continue their preparations and have the best possible chance of carrying out the cull effectively. More information (news release)
On 14 December 2011 the Secretary of State announced the go ahead for controlled culling of badgers as part of the package of measures to tackle bovine TB. The approach will be piloted in two areas. Further information:
- News release
- Policy document: The Government’s policy on bovine TB and badger control in England
- Guidance to Natural England: Licences to kill or take badgers for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine TB
- Responses to the consultation on Guidance to Natural England on the Implementation and Enforcement of a Badger Control Policy, launched on 19 July 2011
- Impact Assessment
- Ecological Impact Assessment
On 19 July 2011, the Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England was launched. It sets out a comprehensive and balanced package of measures to tackle TB in cattle, badgers and other animals:
Bovine TB Eradication Advisory Group for England (TBEAG)
- The Bovine TB Eradication Advisory Group for England (TBEAG) has been set up to advise on the development and implementation of the strategy for eradicating bovine TB.
UK TB Eradication Plan
The UK is required by EU law (Council Directive 77/391/EEC) to have an accelerated bovine TB Eradication Plan fulfilling specified criteria (Council Directive 78/52/EEC). The European Commission has granted the UK up to €31.2 million of funding from the EU Veterinary Fund towards its bovine TB Eradication Plan during 2012. This will contribute to the cost of cattle skin testing, gamma interferon blood testing, and compensation.
Commission Implementing Decision 2011/807/EU approving annual and multiannual programmes and the financial contribution from the Union for the eradication, control and monitoring of certain animal diseases and zoonoses presented by the Member States for 2012 and following years (as amended by Commission Implementing Decision 2011/147/EU PDF).
Bovine TB Compliance and Enforcement Priorities
Ministers have agreed a number of priorities for improving compliance with and enforcement of the controls in place to tackle bovine TB in England. See: