Bovine TB Control in Cattle

Fraser Bohm made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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Dear the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
I am currently carrying out an investigation into different methods of controlling the spread of TB in cattle and their efficacy for an extended project qualification. I want to know which method DEFRA currently views as most effective and how this may change in the future. I would also like to know whether DEFRA views the increased cost of vaccination as justified in view of its increased efficacy as opposed to culling. On top of this, I would like to know how much the government values biosecurity as a method of controlling the spread of TB and how long it will be before a viable cattle vaccination is produced. I would also be grateful if someone gave me their views on what the future of TB looks like in terms of which methods will be most prominent and effective- perhaps even developing technologies such as gene editing or selective breeding? Thanks for taking the time to consider my questions,

Yours faithfully,
Fraser Bohm

SM-Defra-Helpline, Defra (MCU), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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Dear Mr Bohm,

Thank you for your email of 28 May about Bovine TB. I have been asked to
reply and I am sorry for the delay in doing so.

Bovine TB is a complex disease which is costing taxpayers £100 million a
year and is a major source of distress for hard-working farmers and rural
communities. That is why the Government is deploying a comprehensive
eradication strategy comprising of strict cattle testing, movement
controls and promotion of biosecurity, alongside measures to address the
spread of TB from badgers.

I have attached our TB factsheet which should assist you in your research.
There is a section within this factsheet outlining the independent review
of our TB eradication strategy and the next steps.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Amos

Ministerial Contact Unit

ENC. Factsheet