The BVA has welcomed the announcement from Defra that farmers with herds in the Edge Area of England who have managed to stay clear of bovine TB for at least six years will be able to revert to annual, rather than six-monthly, testing.
BVA President Simon Doherty said: “We are pleased to see the government taking a risk-based approach to TB testing and reducing the testing burden on lower risk farms in this way. This change reflects the recommendations we made earlier this year, in response to the Godfray Review, that Cattle Health Certification Standards (CheCS) should be prioritised and incentivised, with compliance linked to reduced testing and regulatory burden. Farms that have been accredited under the industry-led scheme require a raft of biosecurity measures to be in place and we hope this news will provide further motivation for those farms that are currently TB free, but do not yet meet the six-year threshold.
“We welcome the second round of applications for the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme, and the accompanying grants, to create a buffer zone between the highest and lowest risk areas of England. Halting the spread of bovine TB is essential and it is vital that we continue to take a comprehensive, collaborative and risk-based approach to curbing this devastating disease.”