Tuberculosis in Northern Ireland
What is Bovine Tuberculosis?
Bovine Tuberculosis is a disease in cattle. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis which can also affect humans, deer, goats, pigs, dogs and cats, as well as many others mammals including badgers. It is one of a family of bacteria, which cause, amongst other diseases, Johne’s disease in cattle, Avian TB in birds and Leprosy in humans. TB in humans can be caused by both Mycobacterium bovis and the human form, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
TVR Badger Sett Survey
On 3 July 2012, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle O’Neill MLA, announced to the NI Assembly ARD Committee that she had asked her officials to design specific wildlife intervention research. This “test and vaccinate or remove (TVR)” approach would involve testing live badgers; vaccinating and releasing the test negative badgers; and removing the test positive ones.
On 29 January 2013, Minister O’Neill announced that she has commissioned the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) to commence preliminary badger sett survey work as soon as possible. Sett surveying is already underway in a 100km2 area between Banbridge and Rathfriland.
On 6 March 2013, Minister O’Neill announced a further survey area in a 100km2 area between Castlewellan, Slieve Croob, Seaforde and Dundrum. Sett surveying will start in this area as soon as permissions from local farmers are obtained.
Further information about the TVR approach and the badger sett survey can be found at the link below:
Further information about bovine TB