Bovine TB

Thank you for contacting me about controlling the spread of bovine TB.

This is an issue which is regularly raised with me by the many cattle farmers in my constituency as well as those concerned about local wildlife.

Bovine TB is a serious disease and its incidence has been increasing steadily since the 1980s with the number of new cases doubling every nine years. In the last 10 years the disease has cost the taxpayer £500 million. The Government remains committed to using all available means to address this disease.

Ministers are calling for views on possible future measures to accelerate bovine TB eradication in England, such as further improvements to testing, encouraging increased uptake of farm biosecurity measures, and rewarding low risk cattle purchasing behaviour. It is also encouraging that work on developing a deployable cattle bovine TB vaccine continues at pace and is on track to be completed within the next five years, with field trials scheduled to commence in the coming months. There is no single answer to tackling bovine TB, but by deploying a range of policy interventions, we can turn the tide on this terrible disease and achieve the long-term objective of eradicating it by 2038. Thank you again for contacting me.