Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards has launched a new information pack giving farmers all the information they need to help safeguard their herd from Bovine TB.
The packs provide information on the regulations surrounding Bovine TB and how to access support from organisations like the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Farming Community Network. The packs also give practical tools for farmers to help increase biosecurity standards with the aim of reducing the impact of the disease.
The creation of the packs follows a successful bid for funding from the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS), part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Although the number of new cases of the disease has remained broadly stable in Devon and Somerset over recent years, the South West is a high-risk area for Bovine Tuberculosis and is where the impact of the disease on the farming community is greatest. These information packs are designed to assist farmers to try and address any anxieties or concerns they may have about the disease and the risk to their herd.
The packs will include the NFU TB risk assessment designed to identify ways to improve on-farm biosecurity and useful information guides on the survival of the disease and how it spreads. The guides also come with a reusable calendar and cattle movement record book which are useful tools to help reduce potential spread of the disease.
The funding has also enhanced the training of Trading Standards Officers and raised awareness. Officers can provide up-to-date and informed advice to farmers about how they can minimise the risk of spreading the disease and more general information about Bovine TB in the South West.
Contributions to the training from the Animal & Plant Health Agency, NFU and Farming Community Network have given Trading Standards Officers awareness of the prevalence of the disease within the area and knowledge of steps farmers can take, not only to minimise the spread of disease but also to identify organisations that can help with the burden.
Whilst carrying out routine farm audits in Devon and Somerset officers will be handing out information packs that offer advice and information about the support offered to farmers.
Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure at Somerset County Council, remarked: “As a largely rural county we welcome the introduction of these packs to help our farming community.”
“We have escaped any large-scale outbreaks of Bovine TB in recent years. The tools supplied in this pack will further help our farmers to protect their livestock from this dreadful disease and the devastation it has on their livelihood.”
A limited number of packs are available to farmers on a first-come first-served basis, please contact Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards for further information.
Mark Peacock, Trading Standards Business Support Team Manager, said: “It is important to highlight that Devon, Somerset and Torbay Farmers have been making great leaps in ensuring improvements on farms to reduce the impact of Bovine TB in recent years.
“We are committed to continuing to help farmers and increase the support that is available to help them make further improvements. We are pleased that we have been able to work closely with our partners to make this resource available to them.”