DEFRA STATISTICS show a fall in the number of herds in Great Britain suffering from bovine tuberculosis during the first eight months of 2004.

The number of herds under TB2 restrictions (those with a TB incident during the reporting period) fell by 366 to 4240 compared with the same period last year.

This was despite the number of cattle tested rising by nearly 9000 to 3,188,100.

The number of confirmed new TB incidents at Aug 31 was 1097 which is 50 less than during the same period in 2003. 

But there were another 1004 incidents which are still classed as unconfirmed and 198 which are unclassified.

The number of animals slaughtered during the eight month period was 15,314, which is 9% less than in 2003. But there were also 2845 tests overdue.