TB reduction in Wales shows importance of using range of measures, says BVA

26 May 2017

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) today welcomed the report from the Welsh Government showing a 35% reduction in new incidence of TB in Wales' Intensive Action Area (IAA).

Since its establishment in 2010, the IAA has applied increased measures to tackle all sources of bovine TB, including stricter cattle controls, improved biosecurity, badger vaccination and testing of all goats and camelids. Through these tighter controls, the disease situation in the IAA appears to be improving faster than a nearby comparison area, where incidence fell by 23% over the same period.

Neil Paton, President of BVA Welsh Branch, said:
“We welcome this announcement today and the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling bovine TB. This multi control approach used in the IAA demonstrates the importance of using a wide range of tools to tackle the disease and shows the importance of government, the agricultural industry and the veterinary profession working in partnership for the best outcome.

“We hope this downward trend of TB cases continues and more areas will implement similar methods, especially when it comes to cattle controls. However, we do know that TB statistics can fluctuate, which is why, in light of the suspension of the badger vaccination project, we encourage the Welsh government to include evidence based control of badgers as part of its refreshed eradication strategy.”

Gudrun Ravetz, BVA President, said:
“We have always argued that bovine TB will only be eradicated through a comprehensive programme utilising all of the tools available and the Welsh Government’s report today clearly demonstrates that. We will continue to work with all UK governments to control and eradicate the disease where it is present and to prevent incursions in Scotland, which is Officially TB-Free."

Read the full report: Disease in cattle comparison report - 2010-2016 (2.8 MB)

BVA Media Office