2.5.02

Minister for Rural Affairs 2.5.02


Bovine Tuberculosis Tests

 

Alison Halford:

When were tests for bovine tuberculosis in cattle in Wales last conducted for low-risk areas and high-risk areas? (WAQ17530)

The Minister for Rural Affairs and Assembly Business (Carwyn Jones):

Testing for tuberculosis in cattle is governed by EC Directive 64/432/EEC, which sets a minimum requirement. Frequency of testing is influenced by the average percentage of confirmed herd incidents on a parish basis, as follows:
every four years if the average percentage of confirmed herd incidents over the last two supervisory periods (eight years) is less than 0.1 per cent;
every three years if between 0.1 and 0.25 per cent in the last six years;
every two years if between 0.2 and 1 per cent in the last four years;
every year if over 1 per cent in the last two years.
Testing can be stepped up in response to sudden increases in the number of herd breakdowns. However, no system can predict where new infections will arise and high-frequency random monitoring of all herds is not practicable.
 

Removal of Cattle Not Tested for Bovine TB

 

Alison Halford:

Are cattle that have not been tested for bovine tuberculosis being removed onto Welsh farms that are recently recovering from foot and mouth disease? (WAQ17531)

Carwyn Jones:

Cattle purchased as part of a re-stocking programme are a commercial decision. The Welsh Assembly Government issued guidance to all cattle farmers in autumn 2001 entitled ‘Golden Rules for a Healthy Herd—Advice on Restocking Cattle Herds’ which covered bovine tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. It advises that private tuberculosis tests can be arranged if supplier herds have not undergone a recent TB test. 
Bovine Tuberculosis (Untested Herds)


Alison Halford:

How many herds in Wales remain untested for bovine tuberculosis? (WAQ17532)

Carwyn Jones:

No herds in Wales are untested. Additional veterinary resources are now being directed to recover the rolling programme of tuberculosis testing, following the foot and mouth disease outbreak.
 

Testing Dates for Bovine Tuberculosis

Alison Halford:

Can the Minister provide a list of farms in north Wales showing the date that they were last tested for bovine tuberculosis, and when their next test is scheduled? (WAQ17533)

Carwyn Jones:

No. Such information would only be released with the prior agreement of the individual farmers.
 

Bovine Tuberculosis (Quarantine and Testing)


Alison Halford:

Will the Minister consider advising farmers to impose a quarantine on newly-acquired stock and to test all purchased stock for bovine tuberculosis? (WAQ17534)

Carwyn Jones:

An advisory leaflet entitled ‘TB in Cattle—Reducing the Risk’ was issued last autumn to all cattle farmers in Wales. This gives herd management advice to restrict the potential spread of disease. 
Bovine Tuberculosis (Assistance to Farmers)

Alison Halford:

What assistance is the Minister giving to north Wales farmers to help them keep their herds free from bovine tuberculosis? (WAQ16535)

Carwyn Jones:

North Wales benefits from the enhanced testing programme following a number of confirmed herd breakdowns. In addition, all farmers affected are fully compensated for the loss of animals infected with bovine tuberculosis.
 

Bovine Tuberculosis (Screening)


Alison Halford:

What steps has the Minster taken to ensure that cattle from farms free of foot and mouth disease, which were intensively housed during the epidemic, have been screened for bovine tuberculosis before sale/movement to stock other farms? (WAQ17536)

Carwyn Jones:

Cattle transactions between farmers are commercial decisions. Cattle from herds free of specific animal disease restrictions can be bought and sold within the current post-foot and mouth disease movement arrangements. Responsibility lies with the individuals concerned to ensure that as far as possible, the beasts are free from disease. Guidance on risk reduction is included in ‘Golden Rules for a Healthy Herd’ and ‘TB in Cattle—Reducing the Risk’.

 

 

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