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Risk factors for bovine tuberculosis in cattle in pastoral areas

S. W. Dejene, I. M. A. Heitkönig, H. H. T. Prins, F. A. Lemma, D. A. Mekonnen, Z. E. Alemu and others

BOVINE tuberculosis (TB) is generally correlated with cattle age, sex and body condition, and with husbandry practices such herd composition, cattle movement and proximity to wildlife. While there have been many studies looking at the risk factors for bovine TB in developed countries, there have been few in developing countries, where practices differ widely. This study aimed to assess which risk factors were associated with bovine TB prevalence in Ethiopian cattle in a pastoral area where cattle and wildlife share grazing lands and water sources.

The study was carried out in the Awash National Park and in the neighbouring Afar region in Ethiopia. A total of 2550 cattle from 102 herds were tested for the presence of bovine TB using the comparative intradermal tuberculin test. Data on herd structure, herd movement, management and production system, livestock transfer and contact with wildlife were collected using semi-structured interviews with cattle herders and herd owners.

The individual animal prevalence of bovine TB was 5.5 per cent, while the herd level prevalence was 46 per cent …

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