1. ITV Report

What is Bovine TB?

On outbreak of Bovine TB has been confirmed on a farm in the Brampton area of north Cumbria.

The farm has been placed under movement restrictions and TB testing of farms within a three kilometre radius will take place.

What is Bovine TB?

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an infection which affects cattle which is caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium bovis .

This particular strain of the disease can also infect other animals like badgers, deer, goats, dogs and cats.

It is also a zoonotic disease. That means it can be transmitted from infected animals to people where it causes a condition very similar to human TB.

The risk of people contracting bovine TB from cattle in Great Britain is currently considered very low.

Farms within a three kilometre radius will be tested Credit: PA

What are the signs of Bovine TB?

Signs of TB in cattle include:

  • weakness
  • coughing
  • weight loss

These signs are now rarely seen in British cattle because of the slow progression of infection.

There is still some uncertainty surrounding how bovine TB is transmitted.

It is mainly a respiratory disease, caught by breathing in the M. bovis bacteria that cause TB.

This usually happens when animals are in close contact with another that is infected and, like with human diseases, spreads through coughing and sneezing.

Direct transmission can happen through nose to nose contact but there is also evidence that indirect transmission is possible, e.g. through contact with saliva, urine, droppings,etc.

The disease is spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact with infected animals Credit: PA

Can people contract Bovine TB?

Bovine TB is a zoonosis which means that it is an infection that can be transmitted from affected animals to people.

If this happens it causes a condition very similar to human TB.

Currently less than 1% of all confirmed cases of TB in humans are due to infection with bovine TB.

For more information on Bovine TB you can visit the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs website.