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Cats: Tuberculosis

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to identify whether bovine tuberculosis is carried by cats. (229329)

[holding answer 23 October 2008]: All mammals including cats are susceptible to the disease to a variable degree; cats can contract and carry the causative bacteria (M. Bovis) if they come into close contact with a source of infection.

DEFRA has been funding passive TB surveillance in domestic and zoo animal species for several years. This consists of a free post mortem and culture service for suspect cases of TB provided by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

In addition, since February 2006, the identification of M. bovis in tissues and clinical samples from farmed and companion animals, including cats, became notifiable to the Divisional Veterinary Manager of Animal Health.