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.

Advice and tips


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…


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…

What farmers need to know about new TB breeding index

From 18 January dairy farmers will be able to use a new Holstein breeding index to select bulls for resistance to bovine TB.  The new index, called Advantage, gives an…

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Farmer Focus: Bad news in the form of TB

Lambing has nearly come to a close at the time of writing this. Less than 10 are left in the shed to lamb and the hill ewes are well over…


Opinion: Bovine TB and the gut-wrenching voicemail

"They look a real picture, Stephen," said the head auctioneer of my local livestock market as we surveyed my latest batch of homebred purebred Sussex cattle in the field. "Some…


Opinion: The 25-year TB story continues

The cattle farming proletariat (proles) had been gathered for their regular pep talk from the "Ministry Of Officially bTB Free England Within 25 Years’"  All their long, dull, hard working,…


Farmer Focus: Wales has done nothing to solve TB problem

I started last month upbeat and with some good news. Unfortunately the good quickly turned bad – we have gone down with bovine TB. The vet identified five reactors and two…

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Case studies


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…


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…

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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…


Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

Defra and its devolved counterparts have announced a series of tougher bovine TB rules in the past 12 months in a bid to control the disease, which continues to see…


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”.…


Badger and cattle TB vaccination: The situation now

With controversy continuing to rage about badger culling, and questions still raised about the government’s “test and slaughter” policy for cattle, Defra is pumping millions of pounds a year into…

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Welsh farm leaders demand badger cull after England's progress

New Defra figures demonstrating the positive impact of badger culling on bovine TB levels in England have prompted calls for a widespread badger cull in Wales. The Farmers’ Union Of…


In numbers: Bovine TB and the badger cull

Defra has extended the badger cull to 11 new areas as it steps up its efforts to tackle bovine TB, a devastating disease causing misery to livestock farmers and costing…


How industry reacted to Defra’s badger cull extension

Defra has confirmed that its badger culling policy, which aims to control the spread of bovine TB, will be extended to a further 11 areas this autumn. The announcement on…


Badger cull is reducing bovine TB, Defra figures show

Reductions in new outbreaks of bovine TB have been recorded in Gloucestershire and Somerset following the completion of their licensed four-year badger culls, farm minister George Eustice has announced. New…

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Hard-hitting TB video urges scientists to listen to farmers

A pedigree beef breeder has released a powerful video which calls on politicians and scientists to listen to farmers about the best way to tackle the bovine TB problem. Pat…


Video: Welsh farmers have their say on bovine TB controls

Welsh farm leaders have renewed their calls for a badger cull after figures showed steep rises in the number of cattle being slaughtered due to the disease. The latest figures…


Video: Taking steps to prevent TB

TB is probably the single most important issue affecting cattle producers in this country. So what can farmers do to reduce the risk of infection? Last year, more than 36,000…

Video: 'More frequent testing needed to wipe out TB'

New research shows that more frequent testing of cattle may be needed to defeat bovine TB in England. A study by scientists from Queen Mary University in London showed the…

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