OpenFields

1149: Economic impact of bTB

This paper is taken from the summary of ‘Economic Impact Assessment of Bovine Tuberculosis in the South West of England’ by Allan Butler, Matt Lobley and Michael Winter of Exeter University.

Year of Publication2010

Over 25% of holdings with cattle in the SW are likely to suffer a bTB breakdown within a year. Case study farms estimated breakdown cost them up to £3.5k a month. Breakdown also causes stress and unintended contravention of regulations. Movement restrictions meant keeping extra stock – lost income from delayed sales, extra costs and problems with overstocking. Compensation payments were often not high enough to cover the cost of replacements. Breakdowns can be the ‘tipping point’ precipitating major changes in the business. Vets found that focus on bTB got in the way of developing better animal health programmes on farms.

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