Sheep are susceptible to TB however infection of sheep with M. bovis is rare. There is a risk of transmission to humans if unpasteurised milk or dairy products made from unpasteurised milk from TB infected ewes are consumed. There is no active surveillance for TB in sheep; cases are usually identified at post slaughter inspection or at post-mortem in a veterinary laboratory. In England, compensation for sheep which are compulsorily slaughtered as TB reactors or TB affected animals is:

  • £80 for a lamb aged 1 year or younger
  • £130 for a breeding ewe over 1 year old
  • £350 for a breeding ram over 1 year old

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. Lesions are primarily reported in lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, lesions are cream, yellow or green and may be calcified.


Further information

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

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


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


Lung of a sheep with tuberculosis showing cream-coloured exudate in the lung and caudal mediastinal lymph nodes (image source: APHA).


Lung of a sheep with tuberculosis showing fibrosis and abcessation (image source: APHA).