2 August 2002

TB backlog action

DEFRA hopes to speed up the 2000 herd/month clear-rate of the backlog in TB testing by providing £3m to State Veterinary Service funds.

The current backlog of 18,000 herds overdue for TB tests has reduced from a peak of 27,000, following a suspension of testing during last years foot-and-mouth outbreak, according to government statistics. But at the rate of progress in June it would take nine months to clear the backlog.

"The funding should see more vets available to tackle the backlog. We would be disappointed if the backlog wasnt cleared in less than nine months," said a DEFRA spokesman. &#42