Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious and zoonotic disease in animals and humans that is caused by various species of bacteria that are part of the Mycobacterium group to include: Mycobacterium bovis (bovine TB / bTB), M. avium (avian TB), andM. tuberculosis. In particular, bovine TB can be transmitted between domestic livestock, other animals including wild animals, and humans.
The cooperative Federal-State-Industry effort to eradicate bovine TB from cattle in the United States has made significant progress since the program's inception in 1917. The disease has nearly been eliminated from the livestock population of the United States. However, animal health officials continue to detect bTB sporadically in livestock herds. Specifically, bTB has been reported occasionally in wild, free-ranging cervids and farmed /captive cervids which have been implicated in the transmission to other cervids and cattle.