Information related to brucellosis in Northern Ireland. This includes information regarding the nature of the disease and details of the Department's role in its eradication, as well as the associated legislation and animal testing procedures.

Nature of Brucellosis

Background information on the nature of Brucellosis in cattle and the need for animal testing.

The disease

Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease of cattle caused by a bacterium which spreads through animals coming into contact with infected female cattle, aborted foeti or discharged placental tissues and fluids. The disease can lead to an abortion storm amongst infected females and if it becomes established can lead to decreased milk yields, infertility, weak calves and serious financial loss. The disease is particularly dangerous to humans who come into contact with infected animals or material.


Over the past 40 years the Department has undertaken a programme of compulsory testing of all breeding bovine animals, the removal and slaughter of infected and in-contact animals, the imposition of movement restrictions and follow-up testing on herds thought to be at risk.

Statutory Requirements for biosecurity

Further Information

Please refer to Related Links on left hand side of this page.