Cattle herds in Wales and England have been involved in on-farm trials of the new Enferplex Bovine TB antibody test.
It has been designed to detect infected animals that the currently approved tuberculin skin test and gamma blood test have missed.
Early results are being reported as positive with 2,500 samples returning 23.4% Enferplex positive results. The test is believed to have a specificity of between 98.4 and 99.7% and a sensitivity of between 89.4 and 94.5%, meaning that it can detect up to 94.5% of confirmed infected animals within a herd when tested 5-30 days after a skin test.
While the Enferplex test has been approved by the World Organisation for Animal Health to be used as a TB test for cattle, it remains unapproved for regular testing in the UK.
The FUW continues to support a holistic approach which is guided by science to eradicate TB in Wales, however, there is the concern that introducing another test will further encourage the ‘reactive’ approach rather than shifting towards ‘preventative’ measures.