The apparent decline in the number of confirmed new herd incidents of bovine tuberculosis continues, according to latest TB statistics published by DEFRA.

Up to end of July this year there were 2008 new cases (including confirmed, unconfirmed and unclassified) of TB compared with 2353 in the same period last year – a 15% fall.

Consequently the number of animals slaughtered due to TB has fallen from 18,899 for the first seven months of 2005 to 13,098 in 2006 – a 31% fall.

However, it should be remembered that the statistics do not indicate the disease is in retreat, but merely spreading at a slower rate.

DEFRA recently published a report considering various reasons that may explain this sudden and unforeseen drop.

But it concluded that further analysis over an extended period of time would be necessary before it could be confidently explained.


DEFRA’S TB STATISTICS
Jan-Jul 2006
Jan-Jul 2005
% change on 2005
Total number of herd tests 
31,474
26,965
17
Total number of cattle tested
3,367,710
2,975,888
13.2
Total new herd incidents
2,008
2,353
-15
Total cattle slaughtered
13,098
18,899
-31