Farmers whose herds are at risk of bovine TB (bTB) will be able to access expert help on protecting their animals through a new Defra-funded advisory scheme.

The service launched today provides both on-farm and phone or email advice to farmers in High Risk and Edge Areas of England with trained consultants providing knowledge to help prevent the spread of bTB based on the biosecurity 5 point plan.

The helpline offers advice to farmers on limiting on-farm disease risk, while farm visits will offer practical advice on herd protection and, if needed, the management of the impact of a TB breakdown on their farm.

It is part of the long-term plan to eradicate the disease in all animals. England has the highest incidence of bTB in Europe and in 2016 more than 29,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease.

Chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said: “Bovine TB is one of the greatest animal health threats in the UK and has a devastating impact on our farmers. Alongside the existing TB Hub, The bTB Advisory Service will help arm our farmers with the knowledge they need to prevent this devastating disease spreading - a vital weapon in our fight to protect the UK’s herds and our farmers’ futures.”

Farmers wanting to register their interest in the service can call 01306 779410 or email