TB testing© Tim Scrivener

The government has launched a tailored veterinary advice service for cattle keepers on how to reduce the risk of bovine TB on farms.

 The service, provided by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), will be offered to all farmers within the licensed badger culling areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Farmers within these areas will receive a summary of the local level of TB this month, with a description of known causes and risk factors.

See also: Bovine TB rates continue to fall

In addition, the agency will provide the farmers with tailored reports, showing the number of incidents of TB over the past five years along with the cattle movement history and other risk-related information.

Farmers will also have the option of receiving a farm visit from a vet. The vet will discuss the report and provide bespoke advice on preventing TB.

Meanwhile, the latest TB incidence figures show a slight drop in cases on farms in Great Britain.

The figures cover the 10 months from January to October 2014 and show herd incidence at 4.1%, compared with 4.5% for the same period in 2013.

During the 10 months, new herd incidents totalled 3,852 – 110 fewer than the 3,962 recorded up to October 2013.

The fall in incidents meant the number of cattle compulsorily slaughtered as reactors or direct contacts also fell from 27,465 in 2013 to 26,775 between January and October 2014.