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Bovine TB in Cumbria, England
There have been recent misleading reports about bovine TB in Cumbria where cattle movement control measures are less stringent than here in Scotland.
In Cumbria, despite warnings from DEFRA in 20015, some traders continued to import cattle from High Risk Areas resulting in around 6 new incidents of bovine TB annually. The recent incident has been traced to an infected cow brought in from NI.
Scotland has had official bovine TB free status since 2009 which means that its bovine TB level is less than 0.1% over 6 years.Scotland's farming community has followed more stringent cattle-based measures over a long period, including pre- and post- movement testing of cattle, slaughter inspection and the fast removal of infected cattle from a herd to stop it spreading to other cattle. We want Scotland's farmers to maintain their hard-won achievement of OTF status, both to minimise the stress for farmers who experience cattle TB breakdowns as well as for the good of the environment and our proud heritage.It's in no-one's interests to introduce cattle from High Risk Areas into Scotland.
With respect to England's High Risk Areas, which pose a completely different problem, there is strong confirmed evidence showing that reducing the interval between cattle tests is the most effective strategy to reduce bovine TB in the herds. A strategy that ignores this evidence continues to let down farmers and cattle alike.