Know How / Bovine TB

Bovine TB is a devastating disease affecting cattle across the UK. Get information on current TB restriction rules, risk areas, the badger cull and vaccination developments. See advice on steps to prevent TB, including badger proofing your farm and what to do if your herd fails a TB test.

Latest bovine TB news

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BOVINE TB

Lay bovine TB testers to start work in November

Lay bovine TB testers will be able to work in private veterinary practices in England from 2 November. The announcement by the Animal and Plant Health Agency follows a successful…

BOVINE TB

Vets issue warning over plans to phase out badger control

A lack of control of communities of badgers endemically infected with TB has resulted in a bovine TB dilemma worse now than 50 years ago, say a group of vets.…

BOVINE TB

New bovine TB incidents in England fall again

The number of bovine TB incidents among herds in England has fallen to their lowest levels since 2007, according to the latest official government data (PDF). The NFU described the…

BOVINE TB

No ‘silver bullet’ cow vaccine to beat bovine TB

A deployable cattle TB vaccine must not be considered a silver bullet to eradicate the disease in herds, a world-renowned expert on bovine TB has warned. Field trials of a…

BOVINE TB

Awards launched to recognise farmer efforts to tackle TB

The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) has launched an award to recognise farmers who work hard to protect their herds and reduce the risk of the disease. As well as the…

BOVINE TB

Derbyshire confirmed in new badger culling zones

Badger culling will take place in 11 new areas of England this autumn as the government ramps up its efforts to eradicate bovine TB. Following weeks of speculation, culling licensee…

LIVESTOCK

Defra awards £500k for research into detection of bovine TB

Scientific research aimed at developing new tools to diagnose bovine TB in cattle more swiftly has been awarded £500,000 of government funding. The programme, run by Defra on behalf of…

BOVINE TB

Irish cattle farmers to get bovine TB herd history reports

Irish cattle farmers are to be provided with personalised herd test history statements and reports in the coming days, as part of efforts to reduce the risk of bovine TB.…

Practical advice

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BOVINE TB

Rules, compensation and advice for bovine TB in pig herds

According to Defra statistics, there were 38 pig premises under TB restriction in 2018, with 122 pigs tested for the disease. Although this is low compared to TB in cattle,…

BOVINE TB

5 ways to improve TB control in the UK

Bovine TB has exploded in the UK, spreading rapidly, ravaging counties and wiping out whole herds in its path. Until now, much of the focus of disease control has been…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: Can we get paid for our condemned cow?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Russell Reeves, partner, Thrings, advises on compensation for condemned stock. Q We sold…

LIVESTOCK

Expert advice: What happens if my herd fails a TB test?

TB is a growing threat for cattle farmers, with many farms encountering breakdowns for the first time as the disease spreads further north. But what does it mean if your…

LIVESTOCK

Photos: How to badger-proof your farm

Dairy and beef farmers in regions where bovine TB is prevalent in wildlife are adopting additional measures to protect their cattle from infection, by badger-proofing livestock buildings and yards. Cattle…

How to exit dairying when under TB restriction

Dairy farmers are facing some difficult decisions on the future of their businesses, but for those under TB restriction the situation becomes extremely challenging. We consider how farmers can exit…

Case studies

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BOVINE TB

Steps farmers are taking to reduce bovine TB risk

Simple, inexpensive steps can cut TB risks by limiting cow and badger transmission. Sometimes, another pair of eyes is required to identify risks you may not notice. We speak to…

BOVINE TB

Video: Farmers living on the frontline of bovine TB

For farmers living in a high-risk area, bovine TB has a huge financial and emotional impact. We visit two farms in south-west Wales which have endured long-term breakdowns. Stephen and…

LIVESTOCK

How a beef enterprise has adapted to overcome TB

Recurring bovine TB breakdowns challenged the profitability of the Sockett family’s suckler beef business, so they switched to rearing dairy bull calves in a housed system to reduce infection risk…

BOVINE TB

How a Devon farmer is using homeopathy to fight bovine TB

Like many farmers in mid Devon, Julian Ayre is under the constant threat of bovine TB. But he is taking a novel approach to tackling it: A homeopathic remedy. “We…

Photos: 5 steps to tackling badgers and TB on farm

Cheshire dairy farmer Ian McGrath has spent nine years under TB restriction and has lost 130 cows to the disease – a figure he knows will continue to increase. TB…

Cheshire dairy farmer on coping with bovine TB

Cheshire farmer Ian McGrath has spent nine years under TB restriction and has lost 130 cows to the disease – a figure he knows will continue to increase. TB takes…

Insights

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BOVINE TB

UK bovine TB rules, penalties and incentives

Defra has introduced more rigorous, evidenced-based bovine TB testing regimes for cattle this autumn, backed by tougher penalties and incentives to encourage farmers to improve biosecurity. While the number of…

BOVINE TB

Q&A: Wales' chief vet outlines latest bovine TB strategy

Wales’ chief vet Christianne Glossop explains the next steps in the Welsh government’s policy to eradicate bovine TB in herds. Hayley Parrott and Philip Case ask the questions. What are…

BOVINE TB

How successful has the Welsh Cymorth TB scheme been?

Five years ago, the Welsh government challenged farmers to take control of TB herd breakdowns by improving their on-farm biosecurity. To encourage the improvements, it set up a scheme that…

BOVINE TB

Q&A: Defra chief vet outlines latest bovine TB strategy

Defra chief vet Christine Middlemiss outlines the next phase of the government’s plans to eradicate bovine TB in England by 2038.  We ask her about research and development, funding, testing…

BOVINE TB

Q&A: Chief vet outlines bovine TB strategy for NI

Northern Ireland’s chief vet, Robert Huey, explains the next steps in the government policy to eradicate bovine TB in cattle herds. Hayley Parrott and Philip Case ask the questions. What…

BOVINE TB

Gatcombe bovine TB project to continue despite setback

Gatcombe Farm near Seaton in Devon, run by Robert Reed and his family, is involved in a long-term project with experienced vet Dick Sibley, seeking to tackle TB by identifying…

BOVINE TB

Analysis: Can switch to vaccines work in bovine TB battle?

It took more than 15 months to come to fruition, but Defra has finally published its response to Professor Sir Charles Godfray's 2018 independent review into the government’s bovine TB…

BOVINE TB

Counting the cost of bovine TB in Wales

Seen as a well-informed strategy by some, a misguided experiment by others; more than two years after the Welsh government rolled out its new policy for eradicating TB, it continues…

BOVINE TB

Video: Brian May's Gatcombe Farm project gets TB-free status

A new approach to disease control on a dairy farm in Devon – taking out infective cows and minimising exposure to slurry – has seen the herd attain TB-free status…

BOVINE TB

Dairy farmers tell the real stories behind bovine TB statistics

Welsh dairy farmers have laid bare the huge emotional and financial costs of dealing with an outbreak of bovine TB. According to Defra’s latest bovine TB statistics, the total number…

NEWS

Farm minister explains purpose of bovine TB review

The government has announced a review of its 25-year strategy to tackle bovine TB in England, which includes culling badgers to curb the disease. Farm minister George Eustice said tackling…

BOVINE TB

Analysis: Is the badger cull in England working?

 In 2015, former Defra secretary Liz Truss claimed the badger culls were “working” and the chief vet had made it clear that Defra’s TB strategy was “delivering disease control benefits”.…