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Pig industry rejects proposals to bring bovine TB regulations for pigs

: News & Articles : Latest News : Pig industry rejects proposals to bring bovine TB regulations for pigs
Posted on: 2016-11-12

The pig industry has largely rejected proposals by the government to bring bovine TB regulations for pigs and other non-bovines into line with those in place for cattle.

In a six-page response to the Defra consultation, the National Pig Association, the UK's leading pig industry voice, argues that TB breakdowns already have a disproportionate impact on pig farms, with the cost often far outweighing the risk of disease spread.

Proposals include making it a duty to report suspicion of bTB in non-bovines, bringing some of the rules around testing, treating disease and vaccination into line with cattle and new government powers to require the isolation of specific animals and prohibit the movement of animals on to or off of premises, except under licence.

There is also a proposal to introduce of new TB compensation rates for non-bovines, paying half of estimated market values.

Some of Defra’s proposed changes would only add to the burden for pig farmers while doing little to reduce disease risk, the NPA told Defra.

The NPA response states: “We completely accept that developing coherent transparent regulations is important and will aid greater compliance, but we disagree with your view that none of the proposed changes will impose significant new burdens on the pig sector.“

It appears that in some of the areas, change has been suggested to make life simpler for the regulator with little thought for the likely financial impact on the industry.”“

The proposed additional controls appear to be at odds with the very low risk the pig herd poses to the spread and maintenance of bTB, despite continually referring to pigs (quite rightly) as spill-over hosts.”

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