Torch Farm Vets provide an efficient and flexible TB testing service, Monday to Friday, for both routine herd tests and pre-movement testing.

Bovine TB (bTB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis and is one of the most pressing animal health issues in the UK.  The disease can infect livestock, wildlife (mainly badgers and red deer in the UK), domestic pets and occasionally humans.  The impact of the disease is far and widespread causing significant losses in productivity to agriculture where cash flow can come to an abrupt halt to farmers reliant on selling store beef stock.

We also carry out important disease surveillance work on behalf of Defra.

TB testing

No test is 100% right at all times, so it is important to know:

  • How often the test misses what it is testing for (Sensitivity)
  • How often the test gets confused with something else (Specificity)

A 60% sensitive test will mean 40% are false negative results (they test negative but have bTB). A 90% specific test means 10% are false positive (they test positive but don’t have bTB).

Skin test

Familiar to all farmers, this relies on the body’s reaction to a purified extract of TB bacteria. It has a relatively poor sensitivity so is best used as a herd test rather than for individual animals.

As it is highly specific, positive results are usually TB infected animals.

TB testing with Torch Farm Vets
TB testing and the TB Advisory Service from Torch Farm Vets

NEW: TB Advisory Service

As well as TB testing we are now offering TB advisory visits in association with TBAS

  • Free of charge service on-farm or via phone call

  • Open to all farms regardless of TB status 

  • One-to-one recommendations surrounding all aspects of TB

  • Bespoke service tailored specifically to your holding

Cattle farmers across the high risk and edge areas of England are eligible to receive FREE bespoke advice on practical, cost effective measures to reduce the risk associated with TB.

The TB Advisory Service offers one-to-one farm advice visits, where experienced advisers can provide bespoke recommendations to prevent TB incursions in herds that are currently clear, whilst discussing trading options and measures to prevent repeated infection for farms that are currently under TB restrictions.

A telephone advice service is also available for farmers with specific questions about bovine TB and biosecurity.

The project is funded by Defra and the EU through the Rural Development Programme for England and runs until 2020.

What to expect

When you first contact TBAS, we will collect some basic information about you and your farm.
Your details will be passed to one of our experienced advisers who will contact you to arrange a visit. The visit normally takes around two hours – depending on how much there is to look at and discuss on your farm and we encourage you to invite your own vet along.

After the visit

You will receive a bespoke report detailing the  practical actions you can take to improve the TB risk on your farm. Again you will be encouraged to share this report with your vet.
You will also receive a follow up call or email from TBAS to see how you are getting on with implementing the recommendations, offer further support and requesting feedback on the service.

At the visit

The adviser will ask about your farm set up, any concerns that you have and issues you may face in the future. They will then have a walk around your farm buildings and fields to better understand your current situation.
At the end of the visit, the adviser will discuss with you what they have seen and what they feel you can do to improve your current TB risk.

Don’t worry

The adviser is there to help and will not judge you or your farm. The recommendations are suggestions – there is no penalty if you don’t implement them.

If you have any questions or concerns, just call us – we are here to help.

Bovine TB Biosecurity Information

Badgers are known to use cattle pasture, and may also visit cattle sheds, feed stores, barns and yards on some farms.  Such activities provide opportunities for contamination of the environment with the bacteria that cause bovine tuberculosis, and could potentially bring badgers into direct contact with cattle.  Where badger visits to farm buildings occur, their frequency and duration, and the numbers of badgers involved can vary between farms and over time.

Biosecurity measures can be taken by farmers to reduce the opportunities for cattle coming into contact with badgers around farm buildings and at pasture.

The following Bovine TB Biosecurity Information Sheets provide standard guidance for farmers, vets, contractors and cattle industry stakeholders on types of measures available to try to reduce opportunities for direct and indirect contact between badgers and cattle.  Each information sheet provides details on how the biosecurity measure works, how it has been tested, guide prices, recommendations on appropriate installation and use, and describes case studies of how the measure has been applied on farms.

This guidance aims to help farmers find ways to reduce the risks of direct and indirect contact between badgers and cattle, and so reduce risks of bovine TB transmission to livestock.  It may not be practical to apply all of the measures described here on any given farm, but taking some practical action to limit opportunities for disease transmission between badgers and cattle is a sensible, precautionary approach to managing herd health.

Further information can be found at

It is our aim to work as part of your team of advisors to ensure good quality healthcare that is value for money.

Independent vets, dedicated care

Utilising a wealth of experience within our team, we provide our farming community with the support, advice and clinical expertise required to drive efficiency and profitability on their farm