Bovine Tuberculosis

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 15 September 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure that dairy farmers whose herds are affected by bovine tuberculosis are provided with adequate support.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is acutely aware of the devastating impacts bTB can have on livestock owners and their families. Defra is working hard to support dairy farmers whose herds experience a bTB breakdown and ensure that information and tailored support is accessible.

Defra is committed to helping farmers and their families tackle the mental health and livelihood impacts of bTB and has provided grant funding to the Farming Community Network since 2010. The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) is a Defra funded project that by means of over-the-phone advice, farm visits and badger sett surveys offers free, bespoke, practical and cost-effective advice to all eligible farmers in England to help reduce the risks associated with TB. In late 2021, Defra launched a new, nationwide TBAS, delivered by Farmcare Solutions: Home - TB Advisory Service (tbas.org.uk)

Defra is also working in partnership with the livestock sector and a wide range of academics, charities, and other experts to deliver the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, supporting continual improvement in farm animal health and welfare. That includes a programme of financial support for farmers in the pig, cattle, sheep, and poultry sectors, to help them continually improve animal health and welfare.

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