Addressing area-based risk is a well-established fundamental aspect of the Tb Eradication Programme. As well as regular diagnostic testing, specific measures are targeted at mitigating disease spread in a local area. This includes initiating a wildlife programme to limit spread from wildlife to cattle. Contiguous testing is also carried out on herds that neighbour a breakdown.
In discrete areas of high incidence of TB, my Department puts in place a range of additional measures and can include a TB control plan to address the issue. These measures include:
- Strict enforcement of official controls and on-going review of current controls in place in the area;
- Increased frequency of skin testing in order to remove infected animals from the population;
- Renewed focus on wildlife activities;
- Enhanced communication with stakeholders so that any changes in policy and DAFM activities are explained to PVPs, farmers and farming representatives;
- Scheduling of gamma tests - Consideration is given to scheduling additional gamma interferon tests with formal notifications being issued to herd owners;
- Enhanced supervision of cleansing and disinfection of herds;
- A sample deer cull is considered if deemed necessary;
- Additional visits to PVPs and herd owners;
- Additional resources are prioritised to deliver the agreed performance targets;
- TB testing quality control.