To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total cost to the taxpayer of controlling bovine tuberculosis since 2012; and what analysis they have made of these costs.
Defra’s net expenditure on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) eradication in England since 2012 is set out in the table below.
For the financial year 2016/17, the lower figure shown is mainly due to a difference in the handling of salvage income rather than any cut in TB control expenditure in real terms.
For the financial years after 2016/17 the figures do not include the substantial, but separately costed, expenditure made by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and its predecessor bodies, which are accounted for separately by the relevant executive Agencies. That includes expenditure on contracted out TB testing as well as the work of the Agency’s various veterinary, scientific, and administrative teams and associated operating and overhead costs. We estimate that the total costs to the taxpayer for bovine TB-related work in England have remained at around £100 million a year for each of the last 10 financial years.
Defra’s bTB eradication strategy is working. A sustained downward trajectory in disease is being seen in areas of England at highest risk of bTB (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/incidence-of-tuberculosis-tb-in-cattle-in-great-britain).