Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Bovine TB continues to decline in Wales
Wales aims to eradicate bTB by 2041.
Minister gives annual statement on eradication programme.

Incidents of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) are continuing to decline in Wales, rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths revealed in an update to the Senedd.

Making her annual statement on the TB eradication programme on Tuesday, 14 November, the minister said that new incidents had decreased by more than 18 per cent in the 12 months to June 2023 compared to the same period five years ago. The number of animals slaughtered for TB control also dropped by almost five per cent.

The latest figures show that there were 609 new herd incidents in Wales in the year to June 2023.

The Welsh government is aiming to eradicate bTB in the country by 2041. In March, it published a new five-year TB Delivery Plan to increase collaboration between farmers and veterinary surgeons.

The Pembrokeshire TB Project, part of the TB Delivery Plan, received praise from the minister as “an excellent example of a collaborate, industry-led initiative.” Six local veterinary practices are working with 15 farms to develop tailored measures for herds, including improved biosecurity and ways to manage high-risk animals.

The minister also revealed that she has asked officials to look at the on-farm slaughter policy, after listening to concerns that the slaughter of heavily pregnant cows and heifers can be distressing to witness.

Ms Griffiths said: “Whilst the picture of bovine TB is ever changing, I would like to emphasise the important, long-term trends show fewer affected herds and new herd incidents across Wales as a whole.

“As I emphasised in March, the Delivery Plan is centred on partnership working. TB will not, and cannot be eradicated by Government acting alone.

“Just as no two farms are the same, no two TB breakdowns are identical, and we do see variations in TB levels in different parts of Wales. Therefore, farmers working closely with their vet is crucial to both protect herds and keep TB out, as well as tackling the disease if it does occur.”

Image © Shutterstock

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.