TB problem won’t be solved with hope and half measures – NFU

The NFU has warned that half measures and hope won’t win the battle against bovine TB.

Tim Bennett, union president, told the environment, food and rural affairs select committee on Tuesday (7 Feb) that a coordinated approach needs to be adopted in tackling the disease in order to ensure the ongoing health of wildlife and livestock.

The NFU reiterated its view that, in the absence of an effective vaccine, if all sources of infection are not tackled at the same time, the disease will not be eliminated from any.

“We cannot afford to adopt half measures and hope for the best. A limp response will only prolong the suffering of sick animals and expose healthy animals to this debilitating disease,” said Mr Bennett.

“Farmers have done an enormous amount to get their own house in order and will implement further measures to prevent the spread of this disease between cattle, but this approach on its own is not enough. Ultimately the compassionate decision, and the right one, is to tackle tuberculosis wherever it is found, be it in cattle or wildlife.

 “We simply cannot allow this debilitating disease to proliferate.”