Bovine TB Husbandry Advice

Bovine TB Husbandry Advice – suggested measures to reduce your risk

 

 


  • Keep badgers away from stored feed: badgers infected with TB can contaminate feed.
  • Make your farmyard less attractive for badgers: badgers are likely to be attracted to accessible feed and may spread disease to cattle.
  • Be aware of main badger latrines and active setts at pasture: where possible keep cattle away from these high risk areas.
  • Keep cattle away from neighbouring cattle herds: disease can spread between cattle.
  • Protect your herd: Source bought in stock carefully and adhere to isolation procedures for any inconclusive or reactor animals.

Keep badgers away from stored cattle feed:



  • Make walls and doors of feed stores secure especially if they are used for storage of straights or concentrate feed.


 

Keep badgers away from stored cattle feed:



  • Ensure feed store doors are shut, especially in the evening / at night as this is the peak time for badger visits.
  • Ensure doors and walls of feed stores have no gaps and are inaccessible to badgers.
  • If your feed store is accessible to badgers and too costly to modify consider storing your feed in a different building or in secure containers.
  • If building a new feed store, consider ways of preventing wildlife access.



 

Make your farmyard less attractive for badgers:



  • Avoid leaving feed easily accessible in the farm yard as this is an attraction to badgers.
  • Avoid feeding cattle on the ground in the farmyard. Consider ways of preventing badgers from gaining access to feed.
  • Ensure silage clamps, are well covered and consider protecting the open face by electric netting at times when access is not needed.



 

Make your farmyard less attractive for badgers:



  • While it may be difficult to keep badgers out of cattle housing completely, it makes sense where possible to make cattle housing more difficult for badgers to access



 

Be aware of main badger latrines and active setts at pasture:



  • Be aware that feeding at pasture may be a higher risk than feeding in the farmyard. Avoid feeding concentrates on the ground at pasture. 
  • Be aware of high risk areas such as badger latrines and active setts at pasture
  • Be aware that certain forms of grazing can be more of a risk. Intensive grazing in particular may encourage cattle to feed at field margins where there is a greater risk of contamination from badger faeces and urine at badger latrines. Avoid allowing cattle access to woodland.



 

Be aware of main badger latrines and active setts at pasture:



  • Feed troughs can become contaminated by wildlife so keep an eye out for such signs of contamination and clean these out regularly
  • If you use molassed blocks, consider taking measures to make them more difficult for badgers to access e.g. suspending them
  • Be aware that badger carcasses are a potential source of disease and dispose of them sensibly.



 

Keep cattle away from neighbouring cattle herds:




  • Ensure perimeter fencing, including gateways, are adequate to prevent nose-to-nose contact with cattle on neighbouring farms. Common grazing, nose-to-nose contact at shared water courses etc are areas of particular risk for disease transmission between cattle.
  • Be aware that there is a risk of disease transmission from hired or shared bulls.



 

Protect your herd:



  • Check the TB status of farms from where you buy your cattle (both the testing interval and the date of the last 2 tests). Always ask for appropriate evidence of testing and TB status for all bought in cattle (more information available in leaflet PB12494: TB in Cattle – Reducing the Risk: Pre-and Post Movement Testing in Great Britain )
  • Where possible breed your own replacements and / or use Artificial Insemination (AI) where practical




 

Protect your herd:


  • Adhere to isolation procedures for any inconclusive or reactor animals. Isolate inconclusive, reactor animals and any tracings from confirmed TB breakdowns separately from the herd.
  • Adhere to any statutory notice regarding cleansing and disinfecting of buildings and equipment.

 

Sources of information


 

Your Vet


  • As all farms are different, farmers should discuss the most appropriate measures for their farms with their vet.


 

TB Husbandry


 

Farm Health Planning




 

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