Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…COUNTY MP WELCOMES COMPULSORY TB TESTING Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
CARLISLE MP Eric Martlew has welcomed the compulsory pre-movement TB testing of cattle to be introduced in England on February 20.
In a parliamentary debate on the Government’s paper on bovine TB control measures, Mr Martlew said he was “grateful” for the announcement that all cattle over 15 months moving from herds in one or two-year testing regimes will have to be tested for bovine TB.
“Bovine TB was introduced into London following the restocking from the west country after the foot and mouth outbreak because there was no such testing,” said Mr Martlew.
He went on to query the progress made on a vaccine for bovine TB. “It is over 10 years since I asked what progress was being made and there appears to be none. Is that because of a lack of resources or a lack of will?”
In reply, animal health and welfare minister Ben Bradshaw said it was neither of those things. “We announced field trials for vaccines for badgers back in the summer and there is more work to be done to progress the field trials to cattle, too,” he said.
“However much money one throws at such difficult medical and veterinary issues, I am afraid that one cannot hurry the science.”
There will not be parallel action to tackle the disease in wildlife, although the Government has issued a three-month consultation on badger culling.
Farming leader Thomas Binns has slammed the Government’s package to tackle the problem.
Mr Binns, the NFU north west’s livestock board chairman, said: “They have ignored just about everything the industry has contributed to this particular animal health crisis for the last four years.
“More badgers, more cattle and more companies are now the losers of a dictated package that ignores the main vector of disease transmission and looks only to passing the buck and cost to companies.”
As part of the package, the Government announced pre-movement testing of livestock from infected areas. Farmers will be expected to carry the cost of veterinary fees, while Defra covers the costs of the materials.
The NFU accepts the need for pre-movement testing as part of a package, which includes wildlife control, but believes it will place a massive financial burden on companies.