Bovine TB statistics and epidemiology

Official bovine TB statistics

Defra publishes official monthly statistics on bovine TB in Great Britain. The statistics are obtained from the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s IT system (SAM), which is used for the administration of TB testing in GB. These statistics are a snapshot of the level of TB on the date on which the data were extracted. Bovine TB is a slow moving disease, therefore short term changes in TB statistics should be considered in the context of long term trends.

Cows grazing - Bovine TB

National bovine TB statistics 

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Defra publishes quarterly national statistics on bovine TB in Great Britain. The statistics are obtained from the APHA IT system (SAM), which is used for the administration of TB testing in GB. Again, because bovine TB is a slow moving disease, short term changes in TB statistics should be considered in the context of long term trends.

Bovine TB epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of disease in a population, and the factors that determine its occurrence over time. It examines the distribution of disease and risk factors for infection, in order to identify opportunities for intervention.

In the context of bovine TB, epidemiology reports are produced by APHA for the different regions of GB. These reports present an overview of the bovine TB situation along with detailed analysis of new and ongoing breakdowns and assessment of local risk factors. The GB-level epidemiology reports also include data on surveillance i.e. success in finding new TB cases. 

At farm level, APHA field vets carry out disease investigation visits to farms with TB breakdowns, to gather epidemiological data on where infection came from and whether it could have spread.