(CN) – The European Commission declared Scotland officially free of bovine tuberculosis, an infectious disease that primarily affects cattle. Scotland is the first region in the United Kingdom to join a long list of member states that have successfully eradicated the disease.
“Scotland has been successful so far in controlling and eradicating bovine tuberculosis thanks to the implementation of rigorous measures in the framework of Community legislation, including pre- and post-movement testing of cattle introduced in Scotland,” the commission stated in a press release.
“This is a real measure of success for Scotland’s livestock industry, which has worked tirelessly in conjunction with its government.”
The commission said Scotland will continue its efforts to control the disease and prevent its reintroduction into the country.
Bovine tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. Symptoms include yellow to tan, pea-sized nodules in the chest cavity or lungs. Cows typically contract it by eating contaminated feed or coming into contact with other infected animals.
The threat of humans contracting bovine TB from animals is extremely remote, according to health officials.
Bovine TB-free countries include France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.