A TB Advisory Service offering specialist advice to cattle keepers on building resilience to bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is to be launched this autumn.

The service will be available to farmers in the High Risk and Edge areas of England and will provide bespoke advice on biosecurity and the risks associated with cattle movements and trading.

Fully-funded by Defra through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), the service will be delivered by trained consultants from ADAS, Kingshay and Westpoint Farm Vets, overseen by a Technical Board comprising experts in the field of bTB. This includes prominent experts in the fields of badger ecology, building adaptations and trading practices. Funding has been secured to provide on-farm advice visits to 2,400 businesses over a three year period, with delivery due to commence in October 2017. A telephone advice service will also be available for farmers with specific questions relating to bTB.

Phil Elkins, technical director of the project to be run by The Origin Group, said: "By bringing together experts in all relevant fields, including those with direct experience of the effects of bTB, we can ensure that the advice given to farmers is bespoke, up to date, and proven to reduce the risk of spread of bTB. This service will deliver tailored, practical, risk-based advice to farmers giving them clear, economic, agreed upon interventions to help tackle this disease, all at no cost to the farmer."

Trained consultants will be available to give advice on all aspects of TB. Where farmers are currently free of bTB, advice will focus on the steps available to protect from disease incursions. For farms under TB restrictions, advice on trading options will be available, both on and off the holding, together with measures to prevent repeated reinfection of cattle.

Farmers wishing to pre-register their interest in the service are advised to e-mail info@tbas.org.uk, call 01306 779410 or visit tbas.org.uk