TB cattle slaughtering exceeded 40,000 in UK
Four years after the 25 year strategy was first published, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has said he believes now is a good time to review progress and consider what additional actions might be necessary now to ensure other tools and interventions are ready to be deployed in later phases of the strategy.
The government has said it also envisages future reviews at five yearly intervals.
This follows new figures released this week revealing TB cattle slaughtering exceeded 40,000 in one year ( up 10% on the previous year)
The 25 year strategy outlined a very broad range of interventions to fight the disease including tighter cattle movement controls and removal of infected cattle from herds, improved diagnostic tests, enhanced biosecurity measures, the culling of badgers in areas where disease is rife, vaccination of badgers and work to develop a viable vaccine for use in cattle.
So far, the principal elements deployed in the first phase of the strategy have been cattle movement controls, the removal of infected cattle from herds and the badger cull which covered more than 20 different areas in 2017.
Michael Gove and Farming Minister George Eustice have said they want to ensure other elements of the strategy, such as cattle vaccination or developing genetic resistance, are ready to be deployed in the next phase of the strategy in order to ensure the government maintains progress towards its target of becoming officially TB free by 2038. ■