Goat farmers are being urged to cooperate in TB testing after the disease was found in ten herds in England and Wales.

About 50 animals are understood to have tested positive after it was first detected on a Welsh goat farm in July.

As reported in Farmers Weekly at the time, the herd was in the process of being sold, with the majority of animals going to two farms.

Stock was then sold on more widely from these farms.

Traced

Originally six herds were traced, with 22 animals testing positive, but the Goat Veterinary Society said reactors had been traced to ten herds.

A further ten herds had been traced as “close contacts”, but had so far proved free of the disease.

Nick Clayton, GVS secretary, said the fact the disease had been found in about 50 animals underlined the need for cooperation in testing and slaughter.

“It is plain that where it becomes established in a herd, this strain of TB can rapidly spread from goat to goat.

“Plainly we need a long-term strategy of some sort and that will be discussed by the committee later this month.”

As there is no legislation regarding TB in goats, there is no obligation for DEFRA to foot the bill for disease tests or compensation as a result of slaughter, the GVS added.