Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control:Written question - 126969

Asked by Bill Wiggin
(North Herefordshire)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many of the 100 holdings in High Risk Bovine TB control area in England that were interferon gamma tested in 2017 were so tested on account of (a) being located in an area that had completed two years of successful badger population control, (b) there being clear evidence that repeated skin testing has failed to resolve a TB breakdown and (c) the APHA veterinary investigation concluding that the most likely transmission route for the affected herd was contact with infected cattle and that measures were in place to prevent further spread of disease from that source.
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 13 February 2018

The number of holdings in the high risk area of England that underwent interferon gamma testing in 2017 on account of:

  1. a) being located in a cull area that has completed 2 seasons of effective

    culling : 26

    b) clear evidence that repeated skin testing has failed to resolve the breakdown : 68

    c) the veterinary investigation concludes that cattle to cattle transmission is most likely transmission route *: 0

    d) other reasons ** : 6

    * This criterion for interferon gamma testing was announced in 2017 but was not effectively implemented by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) until January 2018, as agreed with Defra TB Programme. This allowed resources to be focussed on the delivery of interferon gamma testing in the culling areas, which was the policy priority.

    ** These include, for instance, discretionary ad hoc interferon gamma testing of holdings affected by ‘explosive’ TB breakdowns, in order to inform APHA decisions about possible slaughter of whole herds or specific management groups of cattle.

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