Issue 32

Adolygiad o Ffynonellau AmgylcheddolTwbercwlosis Buchol (Mycobacterium bovis) (A review of environmental reservoirs of bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis))

Bovine TB (bTB) is one of the main animal health and welfare challenges in Wales and was responsible for the slaughter of 10,974 cattle in Wales between June 2019 and May 2020 (DEFRA, 2020). It is estimated that the disease costs the taxpayer £15 million annually in Wales alone, which includes veterinary costs, compensation to farmers, administrative costs, etc. Furthermore, dealing with the disease has an effect on the mental health of those involved. The link between wildlife and bTB is an obvious one that fuels much debate, but what about the role that the environment plays in nurturing and spreading this disease? There are scientists who have already explored this question by successfully demonstrating at laboratory level that the conditions present in the cow’s environment are favourable for M. bovis. Despite this, research at farm level remains scarce, especially in areas that suffer from chronic cases of bTB. The purpose of this literature review is to summarise the current situation in Wales, and the state of our knowledge regarding environmental bTB.


TB, bovine TB, cattle, microbiology, environment, disease, agriculture, badgers.


Jones, C., Edwards, A., a Williams, H. (2021), ‘Adolygiad o Ffynonellau Amgylcheddol Twbercwlosis Buchol (Mycobacterium bovis)’, Gwerddon, 32, 70–94. 

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