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Home / Policy / England / Bovine TB – Policy developments September 2018
On September 13 2018 Defra have announced that applications for the ‘Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme’ will be re-opened later this year, with grant funding available to private groups wishing to carry out badger vaccination in the Edge Area from 2019. Groups will receive at least 50% funding towards their eligible costs.
A separate short letter is available here. Please feel free to share the letter with any individual or organisation that you think may be interested in this grant scheme.
This year, following effective licensed badger control operations in 2017, culling operations will take place across 39% of the High Risk Area of England. This includes a further 10 new areas which have been licenced to undertake culling operations in 2018. Alongside our robust cattle movement and testing regime, this will allow us to achieve and maintain long term reductions in the level of TB in cattle across the South West and Midlands, where the disease is widespread.
In order to eradicate a pocket of infection in both cattle and badgers in the Low Risk Area, we have also licenced an area within Cumbria to undertake culling operations in 2018. Along with 6 monthly cattle testing, movement restrictions and good biosecurity on farms this approach offers the best opportunity to deal quickly with this real and serious threat in the Low Risk Area.
On September 13 2018 the Animal and Plant Health Agency has also published data showing there has been a drop in TB incidence in the first two cull areas where the number of new confirmed breakdowns has dropped by around 50%. Data on TB incidence in the next eight areas has also been published today although, as we anticipated, it is too early to see any impact on TB in those areas.
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The ongoing bTB strategy review, led by Professor Sir Charles Godfray, is looking at options to take the bTB Strategy to the next phase and will report to Ministers by the end of September 2018. The findings will be published in due course along with information on next steps.
In May we announced compensation changes for: (i) unclean cattle presented for slaughter; (ii) animals added to a TB breakdown herd which then fail a TB test; and (iii) privately slaughtered TB affected cattle. These changes will take effect from 1st November 2018. Further detailed guidance can be found on the TB Hub, here and here.