Bovine TB continues to spread
Published:  14 March, 2013

New statistics published today show that there is an ongoing challenge from bovine TB (bTB), which emphasises an urgent need to take action.

The results showed that the number of new bTB incidents in herds was 3,941, an increase of 5% from 2011.

Farming Minister David Heath said: "Bovine TB continues to spread at an unacceptable rate, leading to the slaughter of thousands of cattle and ongoing misery for our dairy farmers.

"What was once confined to a small area of the south west has the potential to become a national crisis and, if left unchecked, could cost the taxpayer £1bn over the next 10 years. We cannot afford to sit back and let this happen, which is why we are doing everything we can to get on top of this dreadful disease."

The statistics published today also show that testing is increasing, as the number of bTB tests carried out in 2012 in England was 5,849,498, up from 5,493,311 in 2011.

Further statistics on the number of herds that are not officially TB-free will be published once quality assurance checks have finished.

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