The Deer Initiative

Potential Bovine TB Hotspot Notification West Sussex - The Tuberculosis (England) Order 2014


Published date: 11/03/2019


A new potential bovine TB hotspot area has been identified in the Petworth, West Sussex area. To improve our surveillance in this area, we would be grateful for your help in completing a wildlife survey to ascertain whether there is evidence of bovine TB infection in local wildlife. The map of the potential hotspot area and a written description of its boundaries is attached to this letter.

What is a ‘potential bovine TB hotspot’ area?

A ‘potential bovine TB hotspot’ area is identified when one or more lesion and/or culture positive TB breakdowns of obscure origin occurs in the Low Risk Area. Obscure origin means that, following investigation by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), the breakdown cannot be attributed to purchased/brought-in cattle or to spread from other cattle herds or non-bovine livestock in the locality.

A 3km radial testing zone of enhanced cattle surveillance has already been established around the TB incident. The potential hotspot area will usually be defined by distinct boundaries such as rivers or roads to facilitate identification of whether wildlife found dead are eligible for inclusion in the wildlife survey and this area is not identical to the radial zone.

What will APHA do when a potential new hotspot is identified?

APHA will:

· have arranged for each cattle herd within a 3km radius of the any TB breakdown with lesion and/or culture-positive animals to receive an initial radial test, a second radial test six months later and a final radial test 12 months after the six months test is completed. Radial tests will involve the whole herd (all cattle 42 days of age and over)

· have instigated pre-movement tuberculin testing in all cattle herds within the 3km radius area

· contact all cattle farmers within the potential hotspot area explaining that a wildlife survey is underway and provide details of any additional testing required

· initiate a local wildlife survey of found dead and road-kill badgers and wild deer within the potential hotspot area which will be defined by distinct boundaries such as roads and rivers to facilitate identification of whether wildlife found dead are eligible for inclusion in the wildlife survey. This area is not identical to the radial zone

· contact local deer stalkers, gamekeepers/ game dealers and private vets to remind them of their obligations to report suspect TB cases in deer

· inform the police and local authority in the area that a wildlife survey has been initiated.

What do you need to do if you find a dead badger or wild deer carcase?

Please contact APHA on 03000 200301 to report your findings. We will need the following details:

· the location of the carcase to assess whether it falls within the hotspot and in order to find it if suitable for collection. This could be an OS grid reference, longitude-latitude co-ordinates, a postcode or enough detail to precisely locate the carcase

· whenever possible an assessment of the condition of the carcase as decomposing or extensively damaged carcases are not suitable for post mortem examination

Please note that wildlife carcases located on or beside motorways or dual carriageways cannot be collected by APHA.

Further advice regarding carcase suitability and hazards to consider:

Suitability to submit - the wildlife carcase needs to be assessed as to whether it is suitable for post mortem examination. A carcase is not suitable if it is/has:

· significantly flattened

· grossly distended with gas (bloated)

· major wounds to the throat or chest or any open body cavities

· large numbers of maggots in or on it

· in an advanced state of putrefaction (decomposing and greenish with hair or skin falling off).

Important hazards and risks to consider:

You are advised not to handle the carcase of wildlife you are reporting for collection. However, if you consider it essential to move it to a safe location for collection by APHA, please consider the following advice:

Should you require any further details, please contact APHA on 03000 200301.

Emails / links / downloads

File: APHA Letter


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