The foot and mouth disease (FMD) epidemic of 2001 was used to investigate herd breakdown (HBD) with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in totally restocked herds of cattle. By August 2004, 2941 restocked cattle herds, with cattle movements from before and after 2001, had been tested for bTB for the first time since restocking. A total of 6% (177) of these herds broke down at the first bTB test. A binomial logistic regression model with HBD (at least one reactor bovine) at the first test after restocking as the outcome was used to investigate risks associated with HBD. The final model contained three risk factors. There was an increased risk for HBD in restocked herds with every log increase in herd size with an OR = 1.38 (CI 1.16-1.64) to a maximum OR of 10.75. When there was a history of bTB on the restocked farm before 2001 the OR, with CI not including unity, were 5.92, 4.63, 3.8 and 2.9 for last HBD in 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997, respectively, indicating a persistence in increased risk for restocked herds from farms with a history of HBD in the previous herd before restocking, i.e. a different population of cattle. Finally, for every log increase in the number of cattle purchased from herds with a greater than biennial frequency of testing for bTB in the previous 8 years (i.e. perceived high risk herds for bTB) there was an OR = 1.35 (95% CI 1.22-1.49). The maximum OR was 9.27. These results indicate that both introduction of bTB through the purchase of cattle from farms with a high perceived risk of bTB infection and persistence of bTB on the restocked farm, (not the farm's original herd), were associated with an increased risk of HBD in the newly formed herds after restocking.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Alan Aldridge at CTS and Andy Mitchell at VLA for supplying cattle movement and bTB testing data, respectively. We are indebted to Prof. David Cox for advice and to Ynte Schukken for reading a first draft of this manuscript. This research was funded by DEFRA project number SE3026.
- Bovine tuberculosis
- Cattle to cattle transmission
- Foot and mouth disease
- Retrospective cohort study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology