About Bovine TB
Testing & movements
4.1 Contact with infected cattle in neighbouring herds is another potential source of infection. Infection from neighbouring herds can occur via direct contact (e.g. nose to nose) or indirect contact (e.g. via contaminated equipment or aerosol spread during manure or slurry spreading).
Check local TB breakdown data online
4.2 Information on the location of ongoing breakdowns and breakdowns resolved in the last five years is available on a web-based interactive map called ibTB. Awareness of local TB breakdowns will help you to better understand the nature and scale of the disease threat to your herd.
4.3 Defra also publish quarterly regional reports for the LRA and Edge Area of England describing the most likely causes of TB breakdowns and providing an overview of the scale of the TB problem.
Access the bTB epidemiology reports on gov.uk
Put in place effective barriers between neighbouring herds
4.4 It is important to maintain perimeter fencing that prevents direct contact with neighbouring cattle, as well as straying and mixing with stock from other herds e.g. double fencing. The boundary should be as wide as is practically possible but at least three metres. This is particularly important for farms with multiple land parcels as they have more neighbours and therefore are at increased risk of being exposed to infection. If possible, you should avoid grazing cattle in fields that are adjacent to fields that have livestock in at the same time or where manure or slurry is being spread.
Avoid sharing equipment or vehicles with other farms
4.5 Indirect transmission can occur via equipment that has been contaminated with M. bovis and other pathogens. Some pieces of equipment carry a greater risk than others – equipment for handling and spreading manure, or for handling and transporting livestock, is likely to pose a higher risk than equipment that has had no contact with animals or their excretions.
4.6 If sharing is unavoidable, then it is important for equipment to be properly cleaned and disinfected, according to the risk posed by the equipment before entering the farm. All debris should be visibly removed before disinfection, as disinfectants are less effective when applied to dirty surfaces.
4.7 The same precautions should also be taken for high-risk vehicles (e.g. carcase collection vehicles and livestock lorries) and personnel that enter the farm. Cleaning equipment and disinfectant should be available at entrances and visitors should use them.
4.8 A Defra-approved disinfectant for TB at the appropriate dilution rate should be used.
Avoid sharing cattle grazing with other herds
4.9 Sharing grazing land with livestock owned by other people is particularly risky, particularly in the HRA, where potentially infected livestock may come into close contact with uninfected cattle through direct contact or indirectly at shared watering and feeding points.