Protecting UK Cattle From Brucellosis

UK - All brucellosis surveillance periodic blood testing ceased with effect from April 9, meaning cattle will no longer be routinely blood sampled every two years and tested for brucellosis.
calendar icon 25 April 2007
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Some of the samples collected for brucellosis were also tested to demonstrate freedom from enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL) and warble fly, and therefore this surveillance will also cease.

This follows a review of the scheme which concluded there is no longer a need to maintain routine blood testing. However, the following measures are being maintained to protect GB cattle from incursions of brucellosis:

Import controls and certification;

  • Post-import and post- calving check testing;

  • Abortion investigations;

  • Monthly bulk milk testing in dairy herds.

A feature of brucellosis - which was eradicated from cattle herds in Great Britain in 1979, is that it cannot always be detected by blood testing until around the time an infected animal calves or aborts ('slips the calf').

Testing soon after abortion or calving, therefore, has a greater chance of picking up infection at an early stage, especially in beef herds where the milk cannot be routinely tested.

Source: icWales

For more information on Brucellosis, click here.

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