TB levels in the North peak at highest rate in over a decade
Tuberculosis (TB) rates have hit their worst level in Northern Ireland in more than a decade, the latest figures reveal.
The detected percentage of incidences of TB, an infectious disease of cattle, has continued to rise since it ended a four-year lull in 2011.
The latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) show that in August 1,304 animals reacted to TB tests.
Similarly, animal incidence rates for the last 12 months reached 0.76% – the highest level since late 2004.
The most recent figures show that 2,713 herds were tested in August.
The region saw a sudden uplift in TB incidences in late 2011. Despite efforts to control the disease, detection rates have continued to steadily increase ever since.
The figure for August – 1,304 reactors – is almost double the 833 and 827 which showed reaction to the test in August 2015 and 2016 respectively.
10,000 animals tested
So far this year, more than 10,000 animals in the region have reacted to tests.
The figure for Newtownards was up substantially on the year before, when 734 animals were confirmed to have the disease.
It was almost double the 545 cattle which tested positive for the disease the year before.
Omagh and Londonderry also saw small increases in the number of animals which tested positive compared to last year.
Whereas all other areas – including the region’s third worst hit area, Dungannon – saw a drop in the number of animals tested positive.
Instances of the disease have also risen south of the border with the only exception Co. Wicklow where the proportion of reactors dropped for the third year in a row.