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Dear Sir/Madam


Further to your representations regarding the Skanda Vale TB breakdown you will be aware that the animal in question has now been put down. It had tested positive to the tuberculin skin test on 27 April. This test is designed to show whether an animal has been infected with the bacterium that causes bovine TB and is recognised by the European Union and by the World Organisation for Animal Health as the best test currently available for the detection of bovine TB in cattle.


The policy is that cattle testing positive for TB are removed from the premises and put down, for two reasons:


7         First, to eliminate the possibility of disease spreading from the animal to other cattle or people; and

7         Second, the post mortem examination results are crucial when assessing the disease situation in a herd, in determining the frequency of testing and the interpretation of results, to ensure the disease is eliminated in the herd.


For your information I attach links to written statements published by the Welsh Assembly Government on 26 June and 3 July respectively.


The Assembly Government decided on this course of action only after very carefully considering the representations made by the Community in relation to their rights to manifest their religious beliefs alongside the serious public and animal health risks posed by the disease. The Community contested the Welsh Assembly Governments decision and took legal action to challenge it. The legal proceedings resulted in the Court of Appeal finding, on 23 July, that the decision to slaughter the animal concerned was lawful and one that the Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development was entitled to take.


Post-mortem examination of the animal has revealed visible lesions typical of bovine TB infection, which means that a positive TB breakdown is now confirmed in the herd.


If you require any further information, a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the bovine TB web page at the following link:



Yours sincerely




TB Team

Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales
































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