DEFRA has published proposals to tighten up bTB controls on alpacas and llamas, following growing concern about the spread of the disease in camelids.

The Department intends to introduce a statutory compensation payment of £750 per animal and to introduce statutory powers of testing and removal of bTB reactors.

The Government will pay for a combined skin and antibody blood test.

There will be a new requirement for positive animals to be marked prior to removal and vaccination and therapeutic or prophy-lactic bTB treatments will be prohibited because of concerns they interfere with the test.

But there will be no mandatory bTB surveillance regime.

Defra has accepted industry proposals for a voluntary health scheme but will “look again” at statutory surveillance if this does not deliver the desired results.

Four hundred alpacas in one herd were slaughtered in East Sussex in 2012, after they tested positive for bTB.