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

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Bovine TB eradication my top priority, says Zeichner

Bovine TB disease control and eradication is the main priority for Defra’s new farming minister, Daniel Zeichner. Speaking at an NFU reception at the House of Lords in London, Mr…

BOVINE TB

Badger groups plan legal challenge to latest cull licences

Anti-badger cull groups, the Badger Trust and Wild Justice, are planning legal action against Natural England over its decision to licence supplementary badger culls as part of its policy to…

BOVINE TB

Badger Trust slams Labour's backpedalling on badger cull

The recent announcement by Labour’s shadow Defra secretary, Steve Reed, regarding the continuation of the badger cull has sparked “confusion and disappointment” among wildlife advocates. Labour’s general election manifesto described…

BOVINE TB

Labour manifesto risks undermining TB eradication, says NFU

NFU leaders have hit out at Labour for referring to the badger cull as “ineffective” in its party manifesto. The sentence in question in the manifesto said: “We will work…

LIVESTOCK

Bovine TB cattle slaughterings up 17% in Wales

The latest official statistics released by Defra show the bovine TB situation continues to deteriorate in Wales. In Wales, there were 11,197 cattle slaughtered over 12 months between April 2023…

BOVINE TB

Welsh unions welcome on-farm TB slaughter rule changes

Heavily in-calf cows that test positive for bovine TB will no longer have to be slaughtered on farm in Wales.  Farmers will be able to choose to delay the removal…

BOVINE TB

Daera study reveals bovine TB in a fifth of roadkill badgers

The latest roadkill survey figures from Northern Ireland show that about one in five badgers tested positive for bovine TB last year. In 2023, a total of 459 badgers were…

BOVINE TB

Pembrokeshire dairy farmer loses 53 more cows to bovine TB

A Pembrokeshire dairy farmer has lost 53 more cows to bovine TB and slammed the Welsh government for its ongoing failure to tackle the disease in all areas. Steve Evans…

Practical advice

See all

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How genetics and data sharing can aid calf management

A high percentage of dairy and suckler farmers report that calves are born dead on arrival. In an exclusive Farmers Weekly survey, 21% of dairy farmers and 29% of suckler…

BOVINE TB

10 tips for safe cattle handling during TB testing

Cattle are often large, heavy, fast and strong. Combine that mix with TB testing – a situation that may be unfamiliar and stressful for the animal – and it can…

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…

Case studies

See all

DAIRY

Bovine TB blow prompts dairy farmer to join Longhorn scheme

Price security and the ability to better weather a bovine TB outbreak were the main reasons dairy farmer Jonathan Scott signed up to a Longhorn scheme. In 2016, TB hit…

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…

Insights

See all

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

How local TB programmes are ‘giving farmers back control’

Local TB programmes working in collaboration with farmers, vets and Animal and Plant Healthy Agency (Apha) staff are having a positive effect in helping farmers take control of the disease.…

BOVINE TB

Is England headed for healthy cattle and TB-free future?

Bovine TB is a devastating disease affecting cattle, causing significant trauma for livestock farmers and rural communities. It is the most challenging animal health disease the UK faces, costing taxpayers…

BOVINE TB

Survey reveals full impact of bovine TB on Welsh farmers

Bovine TB is continuing to put an immense financial and mental health strain on farmers in Wales, with the cost of the disease to each farm business averaging more than…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Wales' retiring chief vet looks back on 17-year tenure

In the week that Christianne Glossop leaves the post of Wales’ chief vet, avian influenza is raging through poultry flocks and there are some 700 or so bovine TB breakdowns…

BOVINE TB

How the free bovine TB advisory service is helping farmers

The TB Advisory Service (TBAS), is a Defra-funded initiative which gives free, practical advice to help dairy and beef farmers control bovine TB on farms in England.  The TBAS programme…

BOVINE TB

Farmers and vets report positive results in new TB test trial

Farmers and vets trialling a new bovine TB test in cattle which is focusing on detecting infection missed in government testing say the early results are promising. A number of…

BOVINE TB

4 farmers’ badger-proofing inventions help cut TB risk

Inventive farmers are mitigating the risk of bovine TB spreading from badgers to their dairy and beef cattle by devising their own obstacles to wildlife incursions. Some of the winners…

LIVESTOCK

Badger cull 'exit strategy' raises TB disease control fears

The government has confirmed it will no longer issue licences for intensive badger culling from 2022, as part of efforts to tackle bovine TB in England. And the practice will…

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…