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

See all

BOVINE TB

Defra bovine TB figures show downward trend for England

Farmers and vets in England have welcomed the latest bovine TB figures which show a reduction in cattle slaughterings and new herd breakdowns. Defra published its latest TB cattle statistics…

BOVINE TB

Judges to probe Carrie Symonds’ influence on badger cull

Judges are set to probe the influence Boris Johnson’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, had on the government’s decision to reject the Derbyshire badger cull. Last year, Defra secretary Theresa Villiers ordered…

BOVINE TB

Welsh bovine TB policy 'destined to fail', say ex-Defra vets

The Welsh government’s failure to tackle the reservoir of disease in badgers will see its policy to eradicate bovine TB end in failure, say veterinary experts. The warning comes from…

BOVINE TB

Bovine TB-hit dairy farm trials rapid detection test

A Welsh dairy farm stricken by bovine TB is trialling a new blood test, which is hoped will help to rid the farm of the devastating disease in future. Mossman…

LIVESTOCK

Bovine TB spread between cows and badgers, study finds

Cows are almost twice as likely to be infected by other cattle than by badgers in the transmission of tuberculosis, a study has found. Scientists used data from an undisturbed…

BOVINE TB

NFU launches legal challenge over Derbyshire cull rejection

The NFU has launched a judicial review challenging the government’s decision not to grant badger culling licences to control bovine TB in Derbyshire. In September, Defra announced that culling licensee…

BOVINE TB

Modified vaccine gives hope in battle against bovine TB

Scientists have developed a modified version of the BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) vaccine and a complementary skin test which they believe could protect cattle against TB. Researchers from the University of…

BOVINE TB

Welsh TB cattle slaughter numbers rise by record 28%

A record 12,799 cattle were slaughtered in Wales because of bovine TB in the year to August – a 28% increase year on year. The official figures, released by Defra…

Practical advice

See all

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

See all

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…

NEWS

‘Defra blunder crippled my farm business’

Devon beef and dairy producer Winston Reed has seen the administrators called in at Cleave Farm, Templeton, near Tiverton – despite winning a four-year battle with Defra, which saw the…

Insights

See all

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…

BOVINE TB

Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

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

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”.…

LIVESTOCK

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…

BOVINE TB

What a new bovine TB test trial in Devon means for farmers

At an undisclosed farm location in Devon, leading vet Dick Sibley, director of West Ridge Veterinary Practice in Tiverton, is trialling a novel TB management package, including two new tests,…

BOVINE TB

Welsh farmers face more testing in revised TB strategy

Splitting Wales into low, intermediate and high-risk TB zones, as introduced under the Welsh government’s new control strategy, is widely accepted as the correct approach to tackling the disease. A…

LIVESTOCK

Bovine TB – who is worst affected?

Defra has announced further measures this week to tackle the scourge that is bovine TB. With more than 28,000 cattle slaughtered in England alone in 2015, and the cost to the taxpayer exceeding £100m…

LIVESTOCK

Badger cull: Farmer and animal welfare boss debate rollout

Badger culling is set to be rolled out more widely across England this autumn as the government steps up its efforts to tackle bovine TB. Farmers Weekly asked Gloucestershire beef…

Q&A: Defra grilled over future badger cull policy

More than 50,000 badgers are to be culled as the government steps up its efforts to tackle bovine TB, according to reports. Last month, Natural England revealed that 29 areas…