TB in Cattle: Reducing the Risk (PB4516)

Controlling tuberculosis

TB spreads between cattle slowly compared to some infections, but it will spread. That is why the government regularly tests cattle for TB using a skin test. Animals which react to the test are compulsorily slaughtered, and restrictions are placed so that animals may not move on or off the affected farm (except direct to slaughter under licence) until further tests show that the herd is clear. This process seriously disrupts farm business, and can be very expensive. Even farmers in areas with little history of TB breakdowns should therefore consider how they can help to keep TB out of their herds.

TB in cattle is complex, and a number of factors are involved. One way to stop cattle getting TB is to stop them coming into contact with Mycobacterium bovis. This means stopping the bacterium spreading between cattle, and spreading from wild animals to cattle.

The following pages give some suggestions on how you could reduce the risk of infection from these two sources.

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