FARMERS in south Wales are being urged to share information about TB breakdowns with their neighbours in a bid to improve disease control.

A pilot scheme has been launched, which encourages farmers whose herds suffer a new TB breakdown to share their details with neighbouring landowners, who can then take steps to prevent disease transmission to their own livestock.

The South East and South West Wales Regional TB Eradication Delivery Boards have joined forces for the scheme, which will ask cattle keepers whose herd status changes to officially TB free withdrawn, to sign a voluntary consent form after the disease is identified. This will allow the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) to disclose their name and address to herd owners of neighbouring premises with an epidemiological link.

These farmers will then be able to take steps to prevent disease transmission between herds, such as moving cattle from any fields that are on the boundary, or putting in place biosecurity measures to prevent cattle contact between premises.

The pilot scheme will run for six months and if successful, it could be expanded across Wales.

For further information, contact the AHVLA regional office in Carmarthen on 01267 245400 or email

Meanwhile, the second year of the bovine TB badger vaccination programme is underway in west Wales.

The five-year project was introduced last year after the Welsh Government ditched plans for a pilot cull of badgers in an ‘intensive action area’ (IAA) in north Pembrokeshire.

In announcing that the next phase of the project had begun, Minster for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies said: “We are continuing to monitor the results of vaccination, and of our whole eradication programme, carefully to ensure we are making good progress towards our ultimate goal of a TB free Wales.”

During the first year of the programme, 1,424 badgers were caught and vaccinated, but at a cost of £15 per dose and an estimated overall cost of £5,760,000, the scheme attracted criticism for being too costly.

The vaccination scheme is expected to continue until the end of October.

A badger cull could still go ahead in England this summer after being postponed last year when it emerged the badger population in the culling zones had been severely underestimated.