Defra to launch online map of TB breakdowns

Farmers will soon be able know whether TB is on their doorstep with the help of a new online map.

Defra officials are working to publish an interactive map of cattle herd TB breakdowns for England, thanks to new legislative powers.

The map will provide location details of TB breakdowns in England to inform other farmers, so they can take decisions to help them protect against the spread of TB.

“For example, it will help farmers avoid putting cattle in fields next to those grazed by other cattle under TB restrictions,” a Defra spokesman explained.

The map is scheduled to go live on Defra’s website in early 2015.

Plans for the online map were announced amid a raft of tough TB rules for cattle, deer and camelids in England, to help stop the spread of disease.

The new package of TB measures will come into force from Wednesday (1 October).

Defra has confirmed it is scrapping quarantine facilities by phasing out de-restricted parts on TB-infected farms .

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) and NFU urged Defra to reverse its decision to ban partial derestriction . The NFU said it was a “vital management tool” that provided a “lifeline” to farmers under TB restrictions.

But Defra said there was evidence that holdings that have been partially de-restricted had a “disproportionate number of further TB breakdowns”, which supported concerns that the practice was “unhelpful from a disease control perspective”.

From 1 October, cattle moving between holdings within Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs), will be subject to pre-movement testing .

But pre-movement testing will not be required for moves between holdings within the SOA, which are within a 10-mile radius of the main holding.

Meanwhile, Defra is introducing the first compensation payment scheme for deer and camelids slaughtered due to TB .

Under the scheme, statutory compensation for camelids will be £750 per animal. For deer the amount payable remains unchanged – at either 50% of the market value or £600, whichever is lower.

Read also: Farmer in cull zone TB-free after agonising struggle