Economic Impact Assessment of Bovine Tuberculosis in the South West of England
Bovine TB (bTB) presents a significant challenge to beef and dairy farmers. In 2009 7,449 herds were subject to movement restrictions in Great Britain because of bTB. Of these, 52% were in South West England and 20% were in Devon alone. With over 25% of holdings with cattle in the South West likely to suffer a bTB breakdown within the course of a year, understanding the cost implications on farm businesses is vital in order to demonstrate the impact that this disease is having on agricultural communities and the agricultural economy. The research undertaken for this report has revealed considerable variation across a range of different types of costs associated with bTB. Consequently average figures, either for costs or calculating compensation, obscure much of the detail at an individual farm level. The research also points to a range of ‘hidden’ and longer term costs that fall beyond the scope of the compensation scheme. Finally, in addition to economic losses, bTB is imposing considerable costs on the personal well-being of many farm households and also raises profound livestock welfare issues.
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