BTB Control Strategies in Livestock and Wildlife in South Africa

  • Anita L. MichelEmail author
  • Donald R. Sibanda
  • Lin-Mari de Klerk-Lorist


The European settlers with the importation of infected cattle, introduced bovine tuberculosis (BTB) into South Africa. The first case of BTB in cattle was detected in 1880 and in wildlife during the 1920s. As early as 1906, legislation was promulgated to control and attempt to eradicate BTB from the country, but without success. Intensive application of the test-and-slaughter policy to control BTB in the late 1960s reduced the prevalence in commercial dairy herds to 0.04%. Following the democratic elections in the country in 1994, because of the fragmentation of services caused by the provincialization of veterinary services, and the lack of funding and human resources, the prevalence increased substantially. Currently, bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is spread throughout the country, and it also occurs in more than 20 wildlife species of which African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer), and perhaps greater kudus (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), are maintenance hosts. This situation creates major challenges for the regulatory authorities to control and attempt to eradicate the disease, particularly because of the presence of maintenance hosts other than cattle throughout the country, which are sustained by the rapidly expanding game ranching industry.


South Africa Bovine tuberculosis Control Wildlife Cattle Game ranching Maintenance host 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anita L. Michel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Donald R. Sibanda
    • 2
  • Lin-Mari de Klerk-Lorist
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Veterinary Tropical DiseasesUniversity of PretoriaOnderstepoortSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture and Animal HealthUniversity of South Africa (UNISA)PretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Directorate of Animal Health, Department of AgricultureForestry and FisheriesPretoriaSouth Africa

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