The Eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis in the United States in a Comparative Perspective

Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 36)


At the dawn of the twentieth century, tuberculosis (TB) was the leading cause of death in the industrialized world. In 1900, TB caused about 1 out of every 9 deaths in the United States. Death represented only a fraction of the disease’s cost because, besides those that succumbed, countless others were permanently crippled and wasted away in pain. It is probable that 10% or more of U.S. TB sufferers had contracted the bovine form of the disease. Infected milk products were the main conduit to humans; however, other cattle products, direct contact with cattle, and swine products all posed a danger. Bovine-type infections were far more common in nonpulmonary cases and in children, especially infants. The mysteries of this classic zoonotic disease needed to be understood before effective action could be taken.


European Union Eradication Program European Economic Community Tuberculin Test Bovine Tuberculosis 


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Copyright information

© Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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