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

Cattle health body launches new approach to TB

A new tool to help farmers tackle TB has been launched by the cattle health certification standards regulatory body Checs. The TB entry level membership scheme is designed to enable…

BOVINE TB

Farmer fights to save TB inconclusive cow from slaughter

A dairy farmer who has lost 94 cattle to bovine TB may challenge a court order to remove a cow, in protest at the Welsh government’s policy on culling inconclusive…

LIVESTOCK

Rising sika deer numbers linked to Irish bovine TB outbreaks

New research suggests Ireland’s increasing populations of sika deer may be linked to local outbreaks of bovine TB infection in cattle. Researchers used county-level population densities, taken between 2000 and…

BOVINE TB

Dead badger survey aims to check TB in southern edge area

Farmers and landowners are being asked to participate in a survey to report dead badgers in parts of southern England as part of a government efforts to tackle bovine TB.…

LIVESTOCK

Bovine TB rapid detection test gains funding for validation

A new rapid test that would enable livestock farmers to remove bovine TB-infected cows from their herds within six hours has secured funding for validation. Suffolk-based agritech firm PBD Biotech…

BOVINE TB

Let science not emotion dictate bovine TB policy, Defra told

Farm leaders have urged Defra to “follow science, not emotion” as it plots the next phase of its 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England. The government’s eight-week public…

BOVINE TB

Government slammed over ‘rushed’ TB testing regime

Defra stands accused of rushing through plans to double the number of TB tests faced by beef and dairy farmers in high-risk areas of England.  An increase in mandatory TB testing…

WILDLIFE

Badger culling has 'no significant effect' on bird numbers

The culling of badgers as part of efforts to tackle bovine TB has no real effect on bird populations, according to British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) research (PDF). Badgers have…

Practical advice

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BOVINE TB

3 steps to implement a bovine TB contingency plan

Farmers should carry out a three-step contingency plan to ensure they are prepared for the stress and potential financial implications of a TB breakdown. This is according to Sarah Tomlinson…

BOVINE TB

A guide to setting up a bovine TB isolation unit

Farmers looking for workable, high-welfare solutions for rearing calves during a bovine TB breakdown should consider making the most of a TB isolation unit.  Many farmers are retaining higher numbers…

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…

Case studies

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BOVINE TB

5 farmer tips for setting up a TB isolation unit

Setting his farm up as a TB isolation unit (IU) has proved a successful business model for Cheshire farmer Ben Paterson. Mr Paterson, who runs Blackthorn Farm, Mobberly, buys three-to-six-week-old…

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…

Insights

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FARM POLICY

Next phase in Defra bovine TB strategy explained

After months in the making, the government has launched its latest consultation (PDF) on the next stages of its strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England by 2038. The eight-week…

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…