Ulster FU Backs TB Clampdown bid
4th June 2003 -
By David McCoy
A SERIES of recommendations regarding
the control of TB in cattle to the British Government from the
National Farmers' Union of England and Wales were endorsed yesterday
by the Ulster Farmers' Union.
The Action Plan was announced this
week on the back of an industry conference in March in which the UFU
took part in.
Other participants included the
British Veterinary Association and the Royal College of Veterinary
The UFU has copied the industry
recommendations to the Northern Ireland chief veterinary officer to
future highlight the concerns about the problems being caused by the
The NFU warned the Government that it
must take advantage of the current determination to tackle TB in the
country's cattle and wildlife populations or face the consequence of
the disease gaining an even stronger hold.
Finding a vaccine to beat the disease
was stated as being the primary goal, but the plan goes on to
outline the need for other measures to ease the hardship of cattle
farmers whose herds became infected.
The recommendations include:
- Reactor animals need to be removed
from farms immediately, and certainly within a target of 7 days
- Rapid improvements must be made in
the TB administration system to remove error and delays
- Improved diagnostic tests are
essential in the control of bovine TB. Further research is needed
without delay to improve the sensitivity of the skin test and the
specificity of the gamma interferon test
- A Welfare Slaughter scheme should
be introduced to alleviate welfare problems arising from TB
restrictions prohibiting cattle movements
- Addressing the reservoir of
infection in the wildlife population.
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