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

Packham’s Wild Justice to challenge licensing of badger cull

Chris Packham’s legal entity, Wild Justice, has launched a crowdfunding appeal to mount a legal challenge over the government’s badger cull in England. The campaign group, founded by TV presenter…

BOVINE TB

Seven new supplementary badger culling licences approved

Natural England has approved licences for seven new supplementary culling zones as part of efforts to combat bovine TB in England. The licences allow culling to continue after an initial…

BOVINE TB

Badger cull company ‘deeply disappointed’ with court ruling

The farmer-led company behind the application to cull badgers in Derbyshire says its “deeply disappointed” with a judge’s decision to rule against an NFU legal challenge. The recent judicial review…

BOVINE TB

'No-cull' zones planned around badger vaccination sites

Defra is planning to introduce “no-cull zones” around vaccination sites in the Edge Area in England, as it attempts to implement both badger vaccination and culling, without one impinging on…

BOVINE TB

Derbyshire badger cull canned after Johnson influence

Boris Johnson encouraged the then farm minister George Eustice to consider carefully plans to cull badgers in Derbyshire to tackle bovine TB, after his partner Carrie Symonds took an interest…

BOVINE TB

NFU Derbyshire badger cull legal challenge rejected

The NFU has expressed its shock and dismay after the High Court rejected its appeal against the government’s 11th hour decision not to allow badger culling in Derbyshire. The union…

BOVINE TB

Coronavirus: Youngstock exemption eases TB testing pressure

Farm leaders have welcomed news that calves under 180 days are now temporarily exempt from bovine TB testing in unrestricted herds. The latest exemption applies only where testing cannot take…

BOVINE TB

Bovine TB blow for Buckinghamshire beef farmer

Buckinghamshire beef and arable farmer Richard Heady says his plans have been thrown into disarray after a cow tested positive for bovine TB at his farm. Mr Heady, who runs…

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

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…

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…