CONSERVATIONISTS HAVE welcomed DEFRA‘s announcement that it is improving its cattle testing programme for bovine tuberculosis.

Elaine King, chief executive of the Federation of National Badger Groups, claimed the measures were well over due.

“The introduction of these measures confirms that the government finally recognises that the spread of TB between cattle is the key problem that must be addressed,” she said.

“The NFBG has been calling for these measures for many years.”

But she added: “It is unfortunate that the new measures, first backed by the TB Forum in 1998, have taken more than six years to be implemented.”

Dr King also called for quicker implementation of the gamma interferon test and pre-movement testing to speed the rate at which the disease could be bought under control.