The service is funded by DEFRA through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and will be available to farmers in the high risk and edge areas of England. It will provide advice on biosecurity and the risks associated with cattle movements and trading.
ADAS, Kingshay and Westpoint Farm Vets will provide the service and be overseen by a technical board comprising experts in bovine TB, including badger ecology, building adaptations and trading practices. Funding will allow advice visits to 2,400 farms over a three year period, starting in October 2017. A telephone advice service will also be available to farmers with specific questions about bTB.
Where farmers are currently free of bTB, advice will focus on the steps available to protect from disease incursions. For farms under TB restrictions, advice on trading options will be available, both on and off the holding, as well as measures to prevent repeated reinfection of cattle.
Members of the technical board will be on hand to provide consultants with additional help and support including ongoing updates on advice. The Origin Group will be responsible for day to day management.