More than 17,000 cattle were slaughtered because of bovine TB (bTB) in Britain in first half of this year, a slight fall on the same period last year.
The latest Defra figures show 17,367 cattle were compulsorily slaughtered as reactors, inconclusive reactors or direct contacts during January to June 2013, compared with 18,271 to June 2012.
In England alone,13,820 cattle were slaughtered due to the disease, while 3,527 were killed in Wales.
By the end of June nearly 8,000 herds had been under restriction at some point during the year, mire than half of which were located in the west of England.
The number of new herd incidents fell to 2,587 from 2,724 in the first six months of 2012, although the provisional incidence rate was virtually the same at 4.1 per cent, reflecting fewer herd tests.
Commenting on its bovine TB blog, Defra said: “Pilot badger culls have begun in the South West of England. Badgers are the main wildlife carrier of bTB in England, responsible for around half of new outbreaks in TB endemic areas.
“No other country in the world has successfully tackled TB without dealing with the reservoir of infection in wildlife.”
(Source – http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/hot-topics/bovine-tb/17000-cattle-slaughtered-because-of-tb-in-first-half-of-2013/58668.article)