About Bovine TB
Testing & movements
You will be sent a Notice requiring Cleansing and Disinfection (BT05) at the beginning of the breakdown explaining what you need to do after reactor cattle have been removed. This form has a declaration that needs to be returned to APHA to confirm that you have carried out cleaning and disinfection after the removal of reactors to slaughter. It is important to return the form to APHA promptly as movement restrictions cannot be lifted at the end of the breakdown without a completed declaration.
C&D is important as M. bovis can potentially survive for months in the environment, especially in cool, moist and dark places. Studies show it can survive for:
As part of the Notice of Cleansing and Disinfection (BT05), you need to clean and disinfect the area where the reactor was isolated and any relevant equipment, vehicles or facilities used:
For more information about how to correctly calculate disinfectant dilution rates, read our worked example
It is strongly recommended that you do not spread the stacked manure from reactor cattle on pasture. If you do choose to spread this manure, it is strongly recommended that cattle do not graze the land for at least 60 days after its application. This is to allow for the natural die-off, decay and inactivation of any M. bovis bacteria that may have contaminated the environment.
If you choose to spread slurry, it should be stored for as long as possible before use, ideally for a minimum of six months. Slurry must not be spread within a minimum of 10 metres from your farm boundary or from any land grazed by or housing used by any TB susceptible stock. Ideally, there must be no access to the treated ground by TB susceptible stock for at least 60 days following spreading of slurry.
Slurry from other farms should not be spread and you should avoid sharing spreading equipment with other farms. If this is unavoidable then all equipment should be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected between farms.
Farmers can do a lot to reduce the risk of TB entering their cattle herd and in minimising its impact if they do get it. While the TB Hub and private vets remain great sources of information and advice, farmers can now benefit from the TB Advisory Service (TBAS) too.
TBAS was launched in 2017 and cattle farmers in the High Risk and Edge Areas of England can register for the service by telephone and email.
TBAS aims to help maximise farm biosecurity and minimise TB risks associated with cattle movements. They offer on-farm visits, telephone advice and drop-in clinics for cattle keepers free-of-charge.
Farm visits typically last around two hours, depending on how much there is to look at and discuss. After the visit, you will receive a bespoke report including practical recommendations. You are encouraged to also invite your private vet to the farm visit and to share the report with them afterwards. Further advice and support over the phone is available after the visit.
Phone: 01306 779410
Email: [email protected]
This visit is completed by an APHA vet, primarily to gather information about the source of the TB breakdown. Advice will also be given on biosecurity and the APHA vet will answer any questions that you may have, for example regarding TB licensing. All new TB breakdowns in the Low Risk Area (LRA) and Edge Area receive a visit by an APHA vet, known as a DRF (Disease Report Form). In the High Risk Area (HRA), this process is slightly different as not every TB breakdown receives a DRF visit.
APHA will contact you to arrange the visit. The aim of this visit is to try and establish the source of the TB breakdown and inform case management. If you are not visited, you will be contacted by telephone so that APHA can gather certain information that will help to manage your breakdown and instruct any additional TB testing that may be required. The following information is gathered by the APHA vet at the visit:
APHA will ask questions about:
Owners of all new TB breakdown herds in the HRA and Edge Area receive a farm level TB report a few weeks after the start of the breakdown. The reports are specific to the individual farm and you are encouraged to share the report with your private veterinary surgeon to get the most out of it. These TB reports are produced by APHA using TB breakdown and cattle movement data. The aim of the report is to help you understand the TB risks to your herd and how to take action to reduce these risks. For more information about how farm level TB reports can help you and your private vet, see our guide