Skip to content

Bovine TB

Related Links

if you've seen a term you don't understand, please check here for an explanation.

Our long-term goal is to eradicate bovine TB in Wales.

Bovine TB is caused by a bacterium and can affect all mammals. It is a notifiable disease because it can affect humans as well as animals. The risk to public health is kept low because of regular testing of cattle, milk pasteurisation and inspections at abattoirs. The disease has a significant impact on farms and the agricultural economy.

There is no effective treatment for infected cattle. The major cause of the spread of the disease is through cattle infecting other cattle. To control the disease we test cattle with the aim of identifying infection before they show any signs of illness. This helps us remove infected cattle before they have chance to infect others.

We established the TB eradication programme to carry out our long-term goal of eradicating the disease. The control and eradication of this disease is complicated by the fact that wildlife, such as badgers and deer, can also be infected. This makes it difficult to eliminate the disease from areas where cattle and wildlife can infect each other.

One of the areas with the highest incidence of bovine TB in Europe is our Intensive Action Area (IAA). We are working to eliminate the disease from the IAA by targeting every possible source of infection and using stricter controls.

Dead badgers 

If you come across a dead badger please note the location and call the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 0300 303 8268. The line is open normal office hours, Monday to Friday. APHA will collect as many carcasses reported as possible.