Cattle disease principles agreed

A number of farming and veterinary organisations have agreed three principles on how the next government should tackle cattle disease, according to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

The three main strands were agreed at a meeting that involved the British Cattle Veterinary Association, British Veterinary Association, Country Land and Business Association, Farmers For Action, Livestock Auctioneers’ Association, National Beef Association, NFU, Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers and Tenant Farmers Association.

The first principle was that key farming and veterinary bodies support the comprehensive 25-year bovine TB eradication strategy published in April 2014, and want to see the creation of a TB Eradication Board for England.

The second strand is a nationwide TB Advisory Service as part of the Rural Development Programme “giving advice and training to farmers on how to deal with the consequences of the disease or help them remain disease free”.

Lastly, it was agreed that there should be an industry-led non-government body - Animal Health England - “with the mission of improving the cattle health status of the country by tackling non-statutory diseases, such as bovine viral diarrhoea, Johne’s disease and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis”.

The group said: “There is broad agreement between the farming industry and the veterinary profession on the approach the next government should take on bovine TB and other cattle diseases. This agreement will be presented to the next government as a top priority.”

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