The Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare TB team were winners of the Policy category at The Scottish Public Sector Awards Ceremony recently.

Celebrations: Veterinary Advisor Martyn Blissitt with First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Government Economist Emma Close and TB Policy Scottish Government Angela McMorland

The team, led by Scottish Government Veterinary Adviser Martyn Blissitt was responsible for Scotland achieving “Officially TB free status” in 2009.

This achievement gave Scotland a unique status within the UK and prompted the team to commission research at Glasgow University, which informed the design and introduction of a new, risk-based routine herd surveillance programme.

This led to the creation of new criteria for defining “low risk” herds, which safely exempts around 1,000 herds a year in Scotland from routine TB testing, and focuses the remaining testing on the “higher risk” herds.

Within the first four years of its implementation, the policy saved the Scottish Government and Scottish cattle farmers combined an estimated £1 million.

The awards, which were co-hosted by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, took place in Scottish parliament.

More than 160 nominations were received, recognising the contributions made from within the civil service, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, the Third Sector and the wide-ranging and diverse responsibilities of public agencies across Scotland.  

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