Biosecurity and husbandry
Maintaining good biosecurity and husbandry practices is important in reducing the risk of bovine TB transmission. Even if TB has never been disclosed in your herd, it is advisable to take precautionary measures against possible infection from badgers and from brought-in infection from purchased or hired cattle.
What can you do to protect your herd?
All general good practice helps to reduce the risk of animal diseases including bovine TB, for example: providing good ventilation in cattle housing, not overstocking cattle when housed (or at grass), following guidelines on cleansing and disinfecting and providing cattle with a balanced nutritional diet.
In addition, there are common sense, precautionary measures you can take to help protect your herd from possible TB infection from both badgers and cattle:
- Keep badgers away from stored cattle feed: badgers infected with TB can contaminate feed.
- Make your farmyard less attractive to badgers: badgers are likely to be attracted to accessible feed and may spread disease to cattle.
- Be aware of main badger latrines and active setts at pasture: where possible keep cattle away from these high-risk areas.
- Keep cattle away from neighbouring cattle herds: disease can spread between cattle.
- Protect your herd: source bought in stock carefully and adhere to isolation procedures for any inconclusive or reactor animals.
Improving farm biosecurity videos
Drawing on the latest research a training video demonstrating practical on-farm biosecurity measures to reduce TB risks to cattle from wildlife has been produced. The video, funded jointly by Defra, the National Farming Union (NFU), the Welsh Government and the National Animal Disease Information System (NADIS), is being used to help deliver a series of industry led workshops to promote husbandry best practice.
- Video 1 – Introduction
- Video 2 – Identifying badger activity
- Video 3 – Biosecurity at pasture
- Video 4 – Biosecurity in farm buildings – Part 1
- Video 5 – Biosecurity in farm buildings – Part 2
A transcript of the videos (PDF) is also available
Improving farm biosecurity leaflets
The following leaflets discuss on-farm biosecurity measures. All farms are different so you should discuss with your vet and decide on measures to implement that are best suited to your farm.
- Leaflet: Do you know what’s happening in your feed store?
- Leaflet: Bovine TB: Do you know how to reduce your risk?
- Husbandry advice on Animal Health website (“dealing with TB in your Herd” publications)