Press release

New figures highlight the ongoing challenge of TB

The spread of bovine TB led to the slaughter of 28,284 cattle in England in 2012, a 7% increase compared to 2011.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New statistics, published today, highlight the growing impact of the disease on the UK dairy and beef industry and emphasise the need to take urgent action to reduce the spread of TB.

Farming Minister David Heath said:

Bovine TB continues to spread at an unacceptable rate, leading to the slaughter of thousands of cattle and ongoing misery for our dairy farmers.

What was once confined to a small area of the south west has the potential to become a national crisis and if left unchecked could cost the taxpayer £1 billion over the next ten years. We cannot afford to sit back and let this happen, which is why we are doing everything we can to get on top of this dreadful disease.

Other key figures published today show:

  • The number of TB tests carried out in 2012 in England was 5,849,498, up from 5,493,311 in 2011. This reflects the increased testing being undertaken to monitor the spread of the disease.
  • The number of new TB incidents in herds was 3,941 - an increase of 5% from 2011 (3763 incidents)

In 2011 26,480 cattle were slaughtered in England as a result of TB.

The statistics can be found on the Defra website here

Published 13 March 2013