Data on tests, new incidents, restricted herds and cattle slaughtered with bovine TB.
There are variations in the quarterly figures for a number of reasons including the seasonal aspect of TB, impact of unusual weather, number of test reading days in a month, impact of herds where a large number of animals are slaughtered in one month, etc. The data are not seasonally adjusted so quarter-on-quarter comparisons should be treated with caution.
These statistics are part of a suite of outputs that is used to monitor TB in Wales. For more detailed analysis of these trends, there is a focus on the quarterly Wales TB dashboard of indicators, which features a handful of key measures in an interactive format.
Defra carried out a Statistics User Survey during the summer to engage with users and seek feedback on Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) publications. This was a survey and not a formal consultation exercise, which is consistent with the guidance presented in the Code of Practice for Statistics. A main aim of this exercise was to gauge support from moving reporting frequency from monthly to quarterly.
Defra plan to discontinue the eight monthly official statistics releases published each year. The Office for Statistics Regulation have also been consulted and have no regulatory concerns as under the Code of Practice statistics producers (Defra) have a responsibility to review whether to continue, discontinue or adapt their releases.
The publication of the August 2020 monthly bTB statistics (this release) will be the last monthly publication, however, quarterly releases remain with the next quarterly release published in December. Monthly data will still be provided in the quarterly publication but will only be published each quarter similar to the Welsh Government TB surveillance dashboard. Due to the volatility in monthly data, monthly updates cannot be considered a reliable predictor of overall trends.