Defra announces new Bovine TB group

Agriculture minister Jim Paice has announced a new group to tackle the problem of bovine TB, in the latest government measure to combat the disease, which has a devastating effect on farming and agri-food businesses in the UK.

The new Bovine TB Eradication Advisory Group for England (TBEAG), will replace an earlier group which was set up in 2008 to provide advice to government on the battle against bovine TB. However, the new advisory group includes a broader range of independent farming experience, as well as wider scientific, wildlife and conservation expertise.

It will exist as a subgroup of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, and will be headed up by Eblex chairman John Cross.

Cross said: “If the cattle industry is to rid itself of this hugely damaging disease, it will require a new way of thinking, a clear action plan and a doggedly determined approach to the challenge.
“There are many complications and sensitivities around attacking this disease, but we need to see a way through these, and remain focused on the essential outcome, that is eradication.”

Paice said: “Bovine TB is a devastating disease and one of the most serious challenges facing the British cattle farming industry, last year leading to the slaughter of over 26,000 cattle and costing the taxpayer over £90m a year in England alone.
“The TB Eradication Group for England has provided excellent advice over the last four years, and I’m pleased their work will continue with the new advisory group, which brings together the farming industry, veterinary profession and government to tackle this terrible disease togethe.”
The new group will hold its first meeting in July.

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