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Bovine TB

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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.