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Bovine tuberculosis trends in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, 1995–2010
  1. D. A. Abernethy, BVSc, MSSc, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. P. Upton, BSc Hons2,
  3. I. M. Higgins, Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Higher Certificate3,
  4. G. McGrath, BA(Mod)Sci, MSc3,
  5. A. V. Goodchild, BVSc, MPhil, PhD, MRCVS2,
  6. S. J. Rolfe, BSc, BVetMed, PhD, MRCVS4,
  7. J. M. Broughan, BA Hons, MSc, PhD2,
  8. S. H. Downs, BSc Hons, MSc, PhD2,
  9. R. Clifton-Hadley, MA, VetMB, MSc, PhD, MRCVS2,
  10. F. D. Menzies, BVM&S, MSc, PhD, DipECVPH, MRCVS5,
  11. R. de la Rua-Domenech, DVM, PhD, DipECVPH, MRCVS6,
  12. M. J. Blissitt, BVSc, CertSHP, PhD, MRCVS7,
  13. A. Duignan, MVB (Dublin), MRCVS8 and
  14. S. J. More, BVSc, MVB, DipPM, PhD, MACVSc, FACVSc, DipECVPH, DipECBHM3
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
  2. 2Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, Great Britain
  3. 3Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
  4. 4Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ, Great Britain
  5. 5Veterinary Epidemiology Unit, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 3SB, Northern Ireland, UK
  6. 6Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Tuberculosis Programme of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nobel House, London SW1P 3JR, Great Britain
  7. 7Veterinary and Science Team, Rural and Environmental Directorate, Scottish Government, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh EH11 3XD, Great Britain
  8. 8Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Backweston, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland
  1. E-mail for correspondence: Darrell.Abernethy{at}


Selected demographic features and trends in bovine tuberculosis (BTB) from 1995 to 2010 are described for the countries of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, using standardised definitions and measures. All countries experienced a reduction in the number of cattle and herds and in the proportion of dairy herds, while average herd size increased. In general, the trends indicate a stable situation of very low BTB prevalence in Scotland and, over most of the period, a rising prevalence in England and Wales. The prevalence in the Republic of Ireland declined while Northern Ireland experienced both a rise and fall. Differences in demography, BTB programme structure and test results were noted, particularly between the island of Ireland and Great Britain. Further investigation of these differences may provide valuable insights into risk factors for BTB and optimisation of existing BTB programmes.

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