Press release

Better checks on TB history of cattle

TB risk information about cattle will be shared at the point of sale so farmers will know the animal’s TB testing history.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Farmers should soon know more about the TB history of the cattle they’re buying to help them avoid bringing TB into their herd.

Under recommendations made by the industry-led Risk-Based Trading Group (RBTG) in England, crucial TB risk information about cattle will be shared at the point of sale so farmers will know the animal’s TB testing history before purchase. Defra and industry will work together to develop buyer and seller guidance on TB risk to help farmers make full use of this new information.

The RBTG has also recommended the development of a new national database for farmers, vets and auctioneers that will use more detailed TB risk information to help farmers assess the TB risk of cattle they are looking to buy.

Farming Minister David Heath said:

Bovine TB is a terrible disease which we have to get to grips with and I am determined that we do everything we possibly can to prevent its spread. Risk-based trading based on an animals’ TB risk will be a great step forward in empowering farmers to reduce the spread of this disease.

Defra is committed to risk-based trading to make farmers more aware of TB risk. These proposals were developed by the Risk-Based Trading Group.

Professor Bill Reilly, Chairman of the TB Risk-Based Trading Group, said:

We believe that the recommendations contained in our report are practical solutions that will be of real value to help reduce the spread of this terrible disease. We encourage industry and Government to work together to implement our recommendations.

Notes to Editors

The Risk-Based Trading Group was set up by Defra in July 2012 to make recommendations to Government on helping farmers in England make informed decisions on the TB risk of cattle they want to buy.

The Bovine TB Risk-Based Trading Group’s report to Defra - Bovine TB risk-based trading: Empowering farmers to manage TB trading risks

Published 2 May 2013