Edge area strategy a sensible approach to bovine TB

Veterinary associations have welcomed the announcement of an ‘edge area’ strategy to help stop the spread of bovine TB from high risk to low risk areas within the UK as a sensible approach.

Defra has today announced measures that will be put in place in the areas surrounding the high incidence areas in the south and west including increased levels of TB testing of cattle in the wake of a new TB outbreak and targeted use of badger vaccination, as well as projects to determine the level of infection in the local badger population.

The edge area includes Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, and parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and East Sussex.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its specialist cattle division BCVA (British Cattle Veterinary Association) support the concept behind the edge area strategy.

Commenting, Peter Jones, President of the BVA, said:

“Targeting specific measures at the edge area surrounding the high incidence areas is a sensible approach if we are to stop the advancing spread of this disease further north and eastwards.

“The edge area strategy recognises the role of both cattle movements and wildlife in the spread of bovine TB, and the need for extra effort to understand the dynamics of infection in cattle, in badgers, and between the two species. Additional investment in our knowledge of the disease to help us understand what drives the advancing edge will also be crucial in our holistic approach to tacking this disease.”


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