Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a chronic, infectious and primarily respiratory disease caused by the slow-growing bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis). It is mainly a disease of cattle and other bovines, but can affect a wide range of mammals.
The government is committed to implementing a comprehensive 25-year strategy to eradicate bTB in England. The strategy was published in 2014 and includes strengthening cattle testing and movement controls, improving biosecurity, badger control in areas where bTB is endemic, and research and development of cattle and badger vaccines.
An independent review of the government's bTB strategy was carried out by Professor Godfray and his team and was published in November 2018. The government published its response to the review in March 2020, setting out its priorities for the next five years.
A key component of the bTB eradication strategy is implementation of a simple five point plan supporting the application of good biosecurity:
- Restrict contact between badgers and cattle
- Manage cattle feed and water
- Stop infected cattle entering the herd
- Reduce risk from neighbouring herds
- Minimise infection from cattle manure
This course is designed to provide background to these five points and the scientific principles that they are based on. Scroll down the course page and work through the content to find out more.