© Tim Scrivener

Cattle farms in high-risk and edge areas in England will be able to access bespoke and up-to-date advice on bovine tuberculosis from trained specialists this autumn.

Trained consultants from ADAS, Kingshay and Westpoint Farm Vets will offer advice on biosecurity and risk associated with cattle movements and trading from October.

Overseen by a technical board of TB experts, the service will visit 2,400 businesses over a three-year period and is fully funded through the Rural Development Programme for England. 

A telephone advice service will also be available if farmers have specific questions.

See also: First cases of bovine TB confirmed in Cumbrian badgers

Expertise on the technical board includes prominent badger ecology experts, building adaptations and trading practices.

Find out more

The Origin Group will manage the service day to day. Matt Dobbs, project director, said the TB Advisory Service “will be able to make a real impact on farmers living with or under threat from bTB”.

Mr Dobbs added: “While statutory TB controls are provided by government, there are a number of things farmers can do to reduce the risk and impact of bTB”.

Phil Elkins, technical director of the project, said the combination of experts in all relevant fields means the advice will be bespoke, up to date and is proven to reduce the the risk of spread of bTB.

He added: “This service will deliver tailored, practical, risk-based advice to farmers, giving them clear, economic, agreed-upon interventions to help tackle this disease, all at no cost to the farmer.”

The service falls under Countryside Productivity, a £141m RDPE Scheme aiming to increase the productivity of farming and forestry in England.

Advice available 

  • TB-free farms: advice will focus on preventing disease incursions
  • TB restricted farms: advice on trading options both on and off the holding will be available together with measures to prevent repeated reinfection of cattle.