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Bovine TB
TB needs multifactorial response
  1. Sarah Tomlinson, technical director of the TB Advisory Service
  1. c/o Westpoint Farm Vets, Ednaston Business Centre, Hollington Road, Ednaston, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 3AE
  1. email: sarah.tomlinson{at}

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I have the utmost respect for the opinions of my learned colleagues who have written in Vet Record in the past few months about bovine TB (bTB). I do not profess to have the scientific research background that many of them have. However, I have been a farm vet in Derbyshire for nearly 20 years and more recently have worked as part of the government-funded TB Advisory Service. I have seen bTB get progressively worse, with Derbyshire moving from four-yearly testing to six-monthly testing and the wider use of gamma-interferon blood testing.

I speak to farmers daily, discussing the devastating impact a bTB breakdown causes. Any farm vet regularly testing cattle will agree with me when I say we always feel the need to apologise when we find a reactor. We know the …

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