Bovine TB in Wild Deer: a Risk to Cattle?

UK - Defra will publish two reports today that build on the evidence base on bovine TB in deer.
calendar icon 27 November 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The first is the final report from the South West England and Cotswolds Survey of Tuberculosis in Deer, the second is a related quantitative risk assessment of the risk posed to cattle by wild deer.

The results of the deer survey show that on Forestry Commission land in the South West Peninsula, bovine TB is present at a very low level (less than 1 per cent, except in one area where it is present at 3.8 per cent in fallow deer). In the Cotswolds, high prevalences were found in two of the three areas sampled (15.9 per cent and 8.1 per cent) particularly in fallow deer. In all areas surveyed, fallow deer were the species most likely to have the highest level of infection with M. bovis.

The key results of the second report, the quantitative risk assessment, indicate that deer are likely to pose a lower TB risk to cattle than badgers throughout most of South West England and Wales.

While TB is not currently a significant risk in wild deer, deer stalkers and managers should take the disease risk into account when establishing any management programmes. Defra will be working with the Deer Initiative to share this information with the industry and to help inform future plans.

Further Reading

- You can view the two reports by clicking here.
- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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