14 January 2000

Booklet spells out TB advice

MAFF and the NFU have produced an advice booklet and a set of advice lines in an attempt to help dairy producers when their farms are hit by bovine tuberculosis.

NFU animal health committee chairman Brian Jennings, NFU deputy president Tim Bennett, and junior farm minister Baroness Hayman launched the initiative at a farm in Gloucestershire this week.

Speaking at the launch Mr Jennings said that dairy farmers could feel confused and isolated when their businesses were restricted following a TB outbreak and he added that these producers did not know where to turn for help.

The telephone lines, which are staffed by producers whose herds have been placed under restriction because of TB, give advice to farmers with similar problems and are an attempt to tackle the problem, said Mr Jennings.

"Our advice line network will provide that much-needed reassurance on what to expect from the future when living under the cloud of TB," he added.

Producers using the lines will be advised to contact their NFU regional office and talk to nearby farmers whose circumstances best fit their own.

Eventually, the scheme could cover the entire country. Already it covers the worst-hit TB areas, including the South-west, West Midlands and central regions.

The telephone numbers are contained in the booklet, Dealing with TB in your Herd, includes advice on how to prevent TB from spreading and the procedures to follow if those measures fail.

Copies of Dealing with TB in your Herd are available from the NFU press office on 020 7331 7397.