Data on tests, new incidents, restricted herds and cattle slaughtered with bovine TB for May 2020.
This is not the latest release in the series: Incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle in Great Britain
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Statistics release, on which this statistical headline is based, includes statistics on the basis of the Wales TB areas.
Fewer TB tests were completed in May 2020 compared to the previous year, largely due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions in place. Tests have only taken place where it has been deemed safe to do so while maintaining social distancing.
New TB herd incidents
In the 12 months to May 2020, there were 615 new herd incidents reported in Wales. This is a 17% decrease on the previous 12 months, when there were 743 new incidents.
Animals slaughtered for TB control
In the 12 months to May 2020, 10,974 cattle were slaughtered due to bovine TB control. This is a 10% decrease on the previous 12 months, when 12,189 cattle were slaughtered.
The overall trend for animals slaughtered due to bovine TB control is variable. Much of the rise since 2014 is attributable to increased use of high-sensitivity testing. For example, gamma-testing, removal of Inconclusive Reactors (IRs) and severe interpretation of the skin test have all been used with the intention of clearing up infection and reducing the risk of the disease spreading and breakdowns recurring.
As the chart shows, the monthly series is extremely variable and peaks can be expected from time to time. There has been an increase in the trend since the peak in October 2018 was reached to the end of 2019. Further analysis has been published in the statistical article: Analysis on the number of animals slaughtered due to bovine TB controls, October 2018 to June 2019.
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