There is no active surveillance TB testing 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.

The oral route is considered to be the main way in which pigs become infected with M. bovis. Most cases are attributed to contact with infected wildlife, but other potential routes are ingestion of untreated milk or milk products from infected cows, or consumption of feed contaminated by infected wildlife. 

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)

Post-mortem images of TB in pigs

TB 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.

Retropharyngeal lymph node of a pig with generalised TB. The route of infection was thought to be feeding of milk from TB-infected animals (image source: APHA)
Close up view of a retropharyngeal lymph node of a pig with TB. The lymph node shows many lesions, some of which are merging (image source: APHA)
Mesenteric lymph node of a pig with TB showing calcification (image source: APHA)