Bovine Tuberculosis

The Isle of Man is officially bovine TB free and has held this status since 2016. The Department along with the cooperation of the local veterinary surgeons and the farming industry, continue to carry out routine TB testing and the monitor results to maintain the Island′s TB free status.

Routine testing and monitoring of Bovines

  • Cattle holdings with less than <20 animals will not undergo TB Testing

  • Cattle holdings which have an imported animal on the holding in the past 4 years or have imported an animal within the last 4 years will be tested every 2 years:

    • All animals over the age of 2 years must be presented and TB tested

    • All imported animals on the holding regardless of age must be presented for testing

  • Where herds have 25% of cattle each year sent direct to slaughter on Island, these herds will not have to undergo routine testing unless the holding has an imported animal, in which case the holding will be eligible for routine TB tested as above

  • All other bovine holdings will undergo routine TB testing every 4 years

Pre and Post Import Testing

Pre: All animals must have passed a comparative intradermal test for Tuberculosis within 30 days prior to shipment. Exception: Cattle that have been resident in Scotland since birth, or for at least 120 days prior to departure are exempt from pre-export TB testing.

Post: All imported animals are required to pass both a tuberculosis skin test and a gamma interferon blood test between 60-90 days post-import; any animal that fails any test is designated a reactor and destroyed.

  • Cattle must be 6 months of age to undergo a gamma blood test.  Any bovine under 6 months of age upon importation, must remain in their import isolation group/premises until they are old enough to undergo post-import testing.

Potential importers should be aware that they have a choice of procedures that may reduce the additional restrictions placed upon them in the event that a tuberculosistest is failed. Imported bovines can be either:

  • Isolate in an approved isolation premises as an import group

  • Isolate in an approved isolation premises with some homebred bovines (the home bred bovines cannot be removed from the isolation area until all tests are passed)

  • Run with the bovine herd after the initial standard ten day import isolation period

If an import fails a TB test at 60-90 days


  1. If the imported bovines have been kept in tuberculosis isolation premises - approved by DEFA prior to importation - for the entire 60-90 day period, only the bovines kept in the isolation premises will continue to be restricted; these restrictions will last for a further 50 days minimum (for culture results to be known) and all the bovines in isolation will need to pass at least one skin test.  Isolation premises can consist of specific fields, provided separation from other stock can be guaranteed;


  2. If the imported bovines have not been placed in pre-approved tuberculosis isolation, the whole farm will be placed under tuberculosis restrictions; these farm restrictions will last for a further 50 days minimum (for culture results to be known) and at least one whole herd skin test will need to be passed.

Movement of Bovines during a TB Test

No Bovine animal(s) must be moved OFF the holding during a TB test unless they are going directly to slaughter in the Isle of Man, this applies to ineligible bovines as well.

Frequently asked questions

Can bovines be moved to Isle of Man Meats and/or animal waste plant (awp) on the Isle of Man during a TB test  YES
Can bovines be exported direct to slaughter in UK  NO
Can bovines be moved OFF their holding to other Isle of Man holdings  NO
Can bovines be moved ON from other Isle of Man holdings  YES
Can bovines be imported from the UK onto holding being TB Tested  YES