Pigs and wild boar

The oral route is considered to be the main way in which pigs can become infected with M. bovis. Most cases are attributed to contact with wildlife but other potential routes are ingestion of untreated milk or milk products from infected cows or consumption of feedstuffs contaminated by wildlife. There is no active surveillance for TB in pigs and cases tend to be identified at post-slaughter inspection or at post-mortem in a veterinary laboratory. TB is not considered to be particularly contagious amongst pigs or to spread easily from pigs to other animals.

In England, compensation for pigs which are compulsorily slaughtered as TB reactors or TB affected animals is:

  • £250 for a breeding female (gilt or sow)
  • £350 for a breeding male
  • £30 for a suckler (a pig weighing under 25kg)
  • £40 for a weaner (a pig weighing from 25kg to 35kg)
  • £90 for a grower or finisher (a pig weighing over 35kg)

For all species, if you get approval from APHA you can choose to slaughter your animals at your own expense and keep any salvage value of the carcase.

Lesions in pigs are usually limited to the lymph nodes of the head and do not result in clinical signs. Generalised disease is also seen which may result in clinical signs.


Further information

Tuberculosis (Non-bovine animals) Slaughter and Compensation (England) Order 2017

Defra guidance on managing TB in non-bovine animals, including movement restrictions and compensation

Veterinary Journal Volume 198, Issue 2, November 2013. Bailey SS, Crawshaw TR, Smith NH, Palgrave CJ. Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic pigs in Great Britain. (abstract free to view)

AHDB Pork Knowledge Transfer Bulletin: Health implications of bovine TB in pig populations


Post-mortem images of pigs (images include graphic content):


This is the retropharyngeal lymph node of a pig with generalised tuberculosis. The route of infection was thought to be feeding of milk from M.bovis infected animals (image source: APHA).


Close up view of a retropharyngeal lymph node of a pig with TB. The lymph node shows many tubercles, some of which are merging (image source: APHA).


This is the mesenteric lymph node of a pig with tuberculosis showing calcification (image source: APHA).