Nearly 5,000 more herds hit by TB infection

Almost 5,000 cattle herds across Britain succumbed to bovine tuberculosis during 2012, statistics released by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories show.

The total of 4,919 new breakdowns represents a 0.4% decline compared with a figure of 4,941 in 2011, according to the AHVLA’s Annual Surveillance Report.

In England overall TB breakdowns fell by 1.7% from 3,880 to 3,775 herds while the disease in Welsh herds continued to rise with a 3.3% increase to 1,091 breakdowns. Scotland recorded the biggest rise at 26% but, at just 53 herds infected north of the border, the number remains relatively small.

Other measures used in the report showed a rise in the disease across all three regions. The number of herds which had their Officially-TB-Free status withdrawn (OTF-W) was up by 7.8% in England, 10.5% in Wales and 62.9% in Scotland. This figure covers herds which have had the disease confirmed after postmortem examination.

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