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Bovine TB: The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB

The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) is a group of independent scientists who advise the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how best to tackle the problem of cattle TB.

For ease of administration, this ISG section of the Defra website is organised by Defra officials, but this in no way alters the validity of the preceding statement on the independence of the ISG, who are solely responsible for its content.

In their own words:

'The Independent Scientific Group on cattle TB was set up following the acceptance by Ministers of the recommendations contained in the Krebs Report (1997). From this it was clear that the problem of TB in cattle was extremely complex, still poorly understood and that previous policies to control the disease had been inadequate. It recognised that substantial further work was necessary if an informative framework was to be established that would be adequate to underpin an effective policy to control the disease in the future.

'The role of the ISG is to provide the scientific base for such a policy. From the outset we have adopted a holistic approach, recognising that sustainable control policies could only be achieved through a better understanding of the epidemiology of TB in cattle and wildlife reservoirs. Implicit in our approach is the recognition that the widespread elimination of badgers from large tracts of the countryside would not be politically or socially acceptable, hence we have sought to explore a much wider consideration of the problem and its possible solution(s)'

From the Second Report of the ISG, December 1999

Latest news

27 June 2007 - The publication on 18 June 2007 of their Final Report to Ministers concluded the ISG's work on the randomised badger culling trial and, as a consequence, the ISG is to be dissolved on 30 June. Individual Members of the ISG are still preparing a number of publications to be submitted to scientific journals and other papers are in press, awaiting publication. The ISG website will be retained by Defra at this location for the foreseeable future.

18 June 2007 - The final report Adobe acrobat pdf file (2.5 MB. Please note this is a large file) of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG), presented to the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, is now available. A press release Adobe acrobat pdf file (19 KB) is also available.

A written Ministerial Statement by David Miliband on the publication of the Independent Scientific Group report 183/07 is available here.

18 June 2007 - The agenda for the ISG Open Meetings in London and Cardiff on 19 and 21 June 2007 respectively are now available.

19 April 2007 - Further details of the ISG Open Meetings on 19 and 21 June are now available, together with registration details for anyone wishing to attend.

News archive..

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Page last modified: June 27, 2007

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs