Monthly data, produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), including statistics on tests, new incidents, herds under restriction and animals slaughtered.
This is not the latest release in the series: Incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle in Great Britain
The Defra statistics release, on which this statistical headline is based, now includes statistics on the basis of the Wales TB areas.
New TB herd incidents
- In the 12 months to October 2018, there were 756 new herd incidents reported in Wales.
- This is a 3 per cent decrease on the previous 12 months, when there were 781 incidents.
- The overall trend since 2009 is broadly downwards. However the trajectory is not consistent, with periods of rising and falling trends over that period.
Animals slaughtered for TB control
- In the 12 months to October 2018, 10,307 cattle were slaughtered due to bovine TB control.
- This is a 1 per cent increase on the previous 12 months when 10,185 cattle were slaughtered.
- The overall trend 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.
- The number of animals slaughtered in October 2018 was higher than any other single month since 2008. As the chart shows, the monthly series is extremely variable and peaks can be expected from time to time. At present the reasons for the peak in October 2018 are not fully understood. The peak may be due to most of the TB testing being carried out during the winter months, when the animals are housed. With increased testing it is expected that you would find more reactors and more animals would be killed as a result. This peak will be investigated further as more data is released.
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