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Restrictions oncattle 'unacceptable'

3rd June 2003 - Robert Brooks - The Journal

Beef farmers say the Government must not impose "unacceptable" movement restrictions to stop the spread of TB to other cattle, but encourage testing of animals instead.

The Department of Environment and Rural Affairs is considering ring fencing TB hot spot areas and imposing movement restrictions forbidding the delivery of cattle to farms beyond their boundaries.

At present, under the so-called Krebs Trials, the Government is investigating the role of badgers, which are thought to carry the disease between herds, in the outbreak.

The trials are due to end in 2004, when Ministers will then decide how to tackle the spread of bovine TB.

But the National Beef Association says current control measures are putting a huge strain on the industry, and restrictions are not the most effective way of dealing with the problem.

Instead, they want the Government to reduce the risk by encouraging the pre-movement testing of animals from known hot spot zones and by agreeing to meet all testing costs instead.

... continued

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