TB Biosecurity Study
The fieldwork for a study into the spread of bovine TB in cattle was completed in the County Down area in July 2011. Randomly selected farmers in County Down were invited by DARD’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Bert Houston, to participate in this important Study. The Study is being carried out by staff from Veterinary Sciences Division (VSD) at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Stormont.
The key aim of the TB Biosecurity Study is to compare farm characteristics in herds that have recently had a TB breakdown and those that have had no recent history of a breakdown in a TB high incidence area, which is why the Study was focused on County Down.
Consideration of selected cattle and wildlife factors are key elements of the research. The Study findings should add to our knowledge of TB risk factors. The Study should also contribute to the development of best practice and biosecurity advice that can be rolled out to all herdkeepers to help reduce the level of bovine TB here.
Participating farmers were asked about the farm business as well as about evidence of badger presence and activity both on their land and around their farm buildings. A survey of on-farm buildings and a farm boundary survey were carried out by the AFBI researcher in agreement with the farmer. Input provided by farmers is held in strict confidence and protected under the Data Protection Act 1998 .
Some badger sett survey work was also undertaken on and around participating farms. No direct intervention with badgers took place during this TB Biosecurity Study.
Almost 200 farmers participated in the Study and provided valuable information. Collation and analysis of the data gathered is ongoing. It is expected that the Study findings will be available later in 2012.
For more information about the TB Biosecurity Study, please click on the information flyer and/or the Questions and Answers leaflet at the links below.
You can also contact AFBI by telephone on 028 9052 5689 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Information about the TB Biosecurity Study