Sheep

Sheep are susceptible to TB however infection of sheep with M. bovis is rare. There is no routine surveillance TB testing of sheep. Cases are usually identified at post slaughter inspection or at post-mortem in a veterinary laboratory.

There is a risk of transmission of M.bovis to humans if dairy products made from unpasteurised (raw) milk from TB-infected ewes are consumed. 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

Post-mortem images of TB in sheep

TB lesions in sheep are primarily reported in the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes. Lesions are cream, yellow or green in colour and may be calcified (gritty).

Lung of a sheep with TB showing cream coloured exudate in the lung and caudal mediastinal lymph nodes (image source: APHA)
Lung of a sheep with TB showing fibrosis and abcessation (image source: APHA)
Ewe and lambs - Bovine TB