English bovine TB incidents lowest since 2007, report says

The NFU says the new data shows the government's bTB strategy is having an impact
The NFU says the new data shows the government's bTB strategy is having an impact

New bovine TB incidents in England are now at their lowest number since 2007, annual data from the government shows.

Last year was the second consecutive year that new bovine TB incidents had fallen overall, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) report says.

The data shows that the number of new bTB incidents in the High Risk Area (HRA) decreased for the second year in a row.

It also shows that new bTB incidents in the Edge area decreased year-on-year for the first time since 2013.

The report addresses the source of infection and shows that nearly 60% of infections within the HRA are attributed to badgers.

NFU deputy president, Stuart Roberts said APHA's 'Bovine tuberculosis in England in 2019' report displayed 'encouraging' news.

“We are seeing bovine TB incidents falling overall across the country and is further evidence that the government’s 25-year eradication strategy is beginning to have an impact," he said.

“It is critical that we continue with all the measures involved in this strategy, from wildlife control to enhanced biosecurity, to ensure that we continue to see the number of TB incidents decrease in the years to come."

He added that while this was positive news, bovine TB continued to devastate farming families up and down the country, causing huge strain for farmers.

"We must continue with this effective strategy to continue to deliver these reductions and reach what we all want to achieve, a TB free England.”