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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-strategy-for-achieving-bovine-tuberculosis-free-status-for-england-2018-review/bovine-tuberculosis-btb-strategy-review-2018-terms-of-reference
The bovine tuberculosis (bTB) Strategy review is initiated by, and will report to, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
To reflect on progress being made with implementation of the bTB Strategy and consider how to take the Strategy to the next phase. Advise on what further actions might be prioritised now to ensure we maintain progress towards our target of achieving Officially Free status for England by 2038.
The review will:
- consider and advise on the opportunities for improved application, enhancement or acceleration of the interventions set out in the Strategy, including cattle vaccination, oral badger vaccination, improved genetic resistance and improved diagnostic tests, or to deploy new tools and/or technologies to fight the disease
- consider how delivery is monitored and how impact of the Strategy is evaluated (and what that tells us about progress of the disease and the dynamics of its spread), and make recommendations as to whether and how these can be improved
- advise on gaps in the available evidence and disease control tools. Recommend options to address these (including the application of epidemiology and research) to achieve the aims of the Strategy.
In implementing the review, the review team should also take account of:
- the structure of the farming industry and the rural environment
- the sustainability, scalability, deliverability and cost-benefit trade-offs of interventions
- wider work underway in Defra to consider future farming policy and the farming regulatory and enforcement landscape, in light of the UK’s exit from the EU
- lessons learnt from the experiences of the Devolved Administrations and from the strategies deployed by other countries to tackle and eradicate bovine and human TB and other diseases
The review will consider all the drivers for disease spread and how they might be addressed. The focus will be on the bTB eradication strategy for England only. It will consider this as a system of intervention to control the disease and advise on how this could be improved.
The review will not re-visit the rationale for current interventions in the Strategy. It will take a prospective and not a retrospective view. It is not a review of badger culling.
4. Roles and responsibilities
The review will be led and overseen by Professor Sir Charles Godfray FRS. He will be supported by a small core working group to which Professor Christl Donnelly, Professor James Wood, Professor Michael Winter and Professor Glyn Hewinson have been appointed. All reviewers have been selected for their skills, competence, expertise, and experience of operating at a strategic level and impartially.
The UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, will work closely with the core group to provide her expertise and a government perspective. Whilst the core group will consider her views, they will retain ownership of the final report and will not need to secure her agreement or align the report to her views.
5. Ways of working
The Chair will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and progress of the review and delivery of the final report. The Chair will work closely with the CVO and the Director of Animal and Plant Health who will oversee the review within Defra. Progress reviews will be conducted monthly.
The Chair, with advice taken from the core working group, may seek to access wider expertise dependent on need.
The review will be supported by a Secretariat within Defra, and by staff within Defra and the relevant agencies throughout.
A communications strategy and stakeholder engagement/management plan will be developed. All communication with the media will be undertaken through Defra Communications Team.
The review will commence in March and is due to be completed by end September 2018.
An evidence-based report will be submitted to Defra Ministers for consideration, detailing the findings of the review. The final report will be published in due course.