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

Awards launched to recognise farmer efforts to tackle TB

The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) has launched an award to recognise farmers who work hard to protect their herds and reduce the risk of the disease. As well as the…

BOVINE TB

Derbyshire confirmed in new badger culling zones

Badger culling will take place in 11 new areas of England this autumn as the government ramps up its efforts to eradicate bovine TB. Following weeks of speculation, culling licensee…

LIVESTOCK

Defra awards £500k for research into detection of bovine TB

Scientific research aimed at developing new tools to diagnose bovine TB in cattle more swiftly has been awarded £500,000 of government funding. The programme, run by Defra on behalf of…

BOVINE TB

Irish cattle farmers to get bovine TB herd history reports

Irish cattle farmers are to be provided with personalised herd test history statements and reports in the coming days, as part of efforts to reduce the risk of bovine TB.…

BOVINE TB

Defra confirms no-cull zones around badger vaccination sites

Defra is to press ahead with plans to introduce "no-cull zones" around vaccination sites in the Edge Area in England, as it aims to balance culling badgers with vaccination in…

BOVINE TB

Award-winning farmer loses 60% of herd to bovine TB

The owners of an elite dairy herd could be forced out of the milk sector after losing 60% of their cows in just 16 months. The Williams family, who run…

BOVINE TB

Cattle vaccination just 'part of the arsenal' says Defra

Vaccinating cattle against bovine TB is likely to be just another “part of the arsenal” rather than a solution by itself, according to Defra's chief scientific adviser. Speaking on the…

BOVINE TB

Cow-only approach to TB ‘doomed to failure’, warns top vet

A veterinary expert has warned Defra that a “blinkered, cow-only approach” to eradicating bovine TB, without bearing down on the disease in wildlife, is doomed to failure. Defra announced a…

Practical advice

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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

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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

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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. What are your key areas of research and development…

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…

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…