Lesions consistent with tuberculosis (TB) have been identified in a feral wild boar
Lesions consistent with tuberculosis (TB) were identified in a feral wild boar from the Ross-on-Wye area during post-mortem examination by the Veterinary laboratory Agency (VLA). Tissue culture results have come back positive for Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis). The animal died during handling under anaesthesia as part of an ongoing research project carried out by the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) [highperlink to Fera website]. Fera conducts a number of research projects (on behalf of Defra) on the management of wild boar in this area.
The feral wild boar population in England is relatively small and localised and so they are not currently considered a major disease threat to cattle. TB caused by M.bovis has previously been diagnosed on two captive wild boar farms in the Southwest of England, in 2000 and 2006 respectively. A previous Defra investigation of M.bovis infection prevalence in wildlife other than badgers included a small sample of free-living wild boar, but no evidence of this infection was identified at the time.
The main public health risks arising from wild boar are occupational, for those working with the carcases in the field (hunters, researchers).
Inevitable when you think about it. Only a matter of time before more cases come to light. Defra might have stalled on the badger culls despite the farmers demands. Will the focus switch to feral boar?