Cattle slaughtered for bovine TB in Scotland

Cattle on a dairy farm in Scotland are being slaughtered after testing positive for bovine TB.

The Scottish Government has confirmed that a number of cattle tested positive on a non-closed dairy herd in Dumfriesshire, which is thought to hold more than 300 cattle.

The disease was initially identified at an abattoir, and testing is still under way to determine how many cattle have been affected.

This latest case in Scotland comes after 60 cattle were slaughtered in West Lothian, in April, due to TB. However, it isn’t thought the country’s TB-free status will be jeopardised, said a Scottish Government spokeswoman.

“The case is being fully investigated, but there do not appear to be any implications for Scotland’s bovine TB-free status,” she said.

Commenting on the outbreak, NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller said: “Outbreaks of this scale serve as a reminder to all cattle keepers that the disease is still a major threat and there is a need for ongoing vigilance when sourcing cattle.

“It also highlights the important role that abattoir surveillance plays in identifying the disease and backs up the approach that Scotland takes in helping affected farms recover. After a positive animal is found, the use of gamma interferon tests – which are more sensitive to TB – are used to identify all infected animals as early as possible, allowing a speedier route to getting clear of the disease.”

Scotland is currently able to remain TB-free as the annual percentage of infected herds has not exceeded 0.1% for six consecutive years.

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