Defra has released the latest quarterly statistics on tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle in Great Britain.

Defra said the increase in England and Wales is mainly down to changes in testing policy.

Headline figures show the herd incident rate and herd prevalence have increased in England between the last two 12-month periods, and have stayed relatively stable in Scotland. In Wales, incidence and prevalence have decreased.


Incidence and prevalence are highest in the high risk area (HRA) of England and lowest in the low risk area (LRA) and in Scotland.

Between the 12 months ending September 2016 and the previous 12-month period, the number of new TB incidents in the HRA and Wales decreased. In Scotland, the edge area of England and the LRA, the number of incidents increased.

Prevalence at the end of September (the percentage of herds not officially TB free [OTF] due to a TB incident) increased in the HRA and edge area of England.

Prevalence decreased in Wales and the LRA compared to September 2015. In Scotland, the number of non-OTF herds is very low and approximately 45% of cattle herds are now exempt from routine TB surveillance testing.

Slaughtered cattle

The number of cattle slaughtered due to a TB incident increased across each of the risk areas in England and also in Scotland and Wales. Much of the rise in England and Wales is attributable to changes in the testing policy for non-OTF herds, Defra said.

Since October 2015, the number of TB tests completed on herds has steadily decreased. The decrease is mainly as a result of changes in APHA testing procedures made in November 2015, and more specifically to testing of cattle that have moved out of TB-infected herds before detection of the disease (“TB forward tracings”).

  • A full set of statistics, by country and region, are available from the Gov.UK website.
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "Latest bTB statistics reveal mixed results"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Alan Petrie
6 months 6 days ago

So basically badger culling is a waste of time, resources and money as we have known from the start.

6 months 5 days ago



related content

The Pets’n’Vets Family network has criticised the Scottish Parliament’s decision to lift the blanket ban on tail docking, saying it "cannot fit with the dog-loving ethos of our practice".

2 mins

The Bull Breeding Soundness Examination course from the BCVA includes demonstrations of examination and semen collection techniques using electro-ejaculation on bulls in farm settings.

3 mins

Lee-Anne Oliver discusses methods of controlling various forms of this condition and how to prevent it spreading among flocks.

25 mins

The BVA says it is “appalled” at the vote by legislators to reintroduce the tail docking of certain classes of working dogs in Scotland.

4 mins

Scottish CPD charity Vet Trust marked its 25th anniversary with lectures and special guests at its 2017 conference in Stirling.

4 mins

The RVC has received a gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest rating a university can receive.

5 mins