The Government is committed to implementing its 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England. The strategy was published in 2014 and includes stricter cattle measures, and badger vaccination and culling.

As part of the strategy there are three management zones (bovine TB risk areas) in England, reflecting regional variations in the epidemiology of the disease; the High Risk Area (HRA), the Edge Area and the Low Risk Area (LRA). Defra’s holistic eradication strategy aims to control all routes of transmission of the disease; cattle-cattle, cattle-badger, badger-badger and badger-cattle, as well as spill-over into other susceptible species.

In February 2018, Defra’s Secretary of State commissioned an independent review of its bovine TB strategy. The review was led and overseen by Professor Sir Charles Godfray, supported by a small working group. The review took place during spring and summer 2018 and reported to Ministers in October 2018. Defra considered all of the options presented in the review, and a government response was published on 5 March 2020.

Holstein cattle grazing - Bovine TB

The government response sets out the key aspects of the next phase of the strategy:

  • Acceleration of work to develop a deployable cattle bTB vaccine, as part of a wider programme of bTB research
  • Evolving the strategy for preventing spread of TB from wildlife
  • Improving diagnostics, surveillance and epidemiology, to root out the disease
  • Incentivising industry behaviours to prevent the spread of bTB through increased uptake of effective biosecurity measures and management of the risks posed by cattle movements
  • Creating a true partnership across government, industry and stakeholders through more effective governance structures at every level
Cow in a misty field - Bovine TB

Public consultations and call for views on bovine TB

A list and links to previous and current Defra public consultation documents on bovine TB.

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Youngs cows inside a farm building - TB hub

Approved Finishing Units (Enhanced) with grazing

A type of TB unit approved in the High Risk Area of England only, for finishing TB-restricted and unrestricted cattle.

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Herd of cows in the summertime - Bovine TB

Earned recognition for herds in the Edge Area

Lower TB risk herds in six-monthly testing parts of the Edge Area benefit from less frequent surveillance testing.

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Cows being loaded to a trailer - Bovine TB

Movements between TB-restricted holdings

More effective controls were introduced on movements of cattle between TB-restricted holdings in England.

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Skin test

Harmonising scheduling of short interval tests

Short interval tests are scheduled from the date when the last reactor left the farm following a previous test.

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Interferom gamma - Bovine TB

Changes to the interferon-gamma testing policy in England

Find out about refinements to the gamma testing policy in the High Risk and Edge Areas of England.

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Viles of Avian and Bovine Tuberculin - TB hub

Approved Tuberculin Testers in England

Use of ATTs for TB skin testing of cattle is being extended to private veterinary practices in England.

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Heifers at sunset - Bovine TB

Changes to bovine TB compensation in England

Information about compensation reductions applied to TB reactors in England.

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Vet vaccinating badger - Bovine TB

Badger control policy in England

Information about Defra's policy on badger culling and vaccination in England.

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Vet examining cows - TB Hub

Use of severe interpretation for tracers

Severe interpretation of the skin test is used in England for trace tests of animals from TB breakdown herds.

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Avian Tuberculin - Bovine TB

Six-monthly surveillance testing of cattle herds in the High Risk Area

Increasing the frequency of TB surveillance testing across the HRA of England.

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Cows from behind - TB Hub

Resolved inconclusive reactor policy in England

All you need to know about the policy in England of restricting resolved IRs for life.

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Meat carcasses - Bovine TB

Enhanced private slaughter arrangements

Private slaughter arrangements in England have changed for cattle compulsorily slaughtered for TB.

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British countryside on an autumnal day - Bovine TB

Low Risk Area TB hotspots

Find out about potential and confirmed bTB hotspots in the LRA and how they are managed.

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White cows in the field - Bovine TB

Edge Area boundary and TB testing changes

In 2018 there were changes to the Edge Area boundary and surveillance TB testing regimes.

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