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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2001;81(1-2):5-15.

Australia's campaign to eradicate bovine tuberculosis: the battle for freedom and beyond.

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  • 1Australian Reference Laboratory for Bovine Tuberculosis, Agriculture Western Australia, 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, 6151, Western Australia.


In 1970, voluntary State-based TB control programs in Australia were replaced by a coordinated national campaign to eliminate both brucellosis and tuberculosis from the cattle population. The campaign was funded and managed under tripartite agreement by State/Territory and Commonwealth governments and Industry. The tuberculosis component of the campaign relied on test and slaughter with surveillance for the disease in abattoirs and trace-back to property of origin an essential component. Because of the moderate sensitivity of the skin test ( approximately 70%), testing was repeated at prescribed intervals over a number of years. In the more hostile environment of northern Australia, novel strategies were developed to maximize musters and remove 'at risk' animals. Australia is fortunate it did not have a feral host for M. bovis (apart from buffalo, which were included in the campaign) to complicate eradication. A national granuloma submission program was implemented in 1992 to increase the intensity of abattoir monitoring. Selective or total depopulation was used in some herds to achieve the requirements of the national Standard Definitions and Rules of the Campaign and achieve the status of 'TB Free Area' in December 1997. Monitoring for tuberculosis has continued under the 5-year Tuberculosis Freedom Assurance Program and measures to further reduce the risk of new cases have been implemented.

Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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