A water trough has been designed with the aim of stopping badgers from drinking from them and potentially infecting the water with tuberculosis from their saliva.

The round water trough range has been designed with tapered edges to stop the badgers from climbing up the sides and leaving TB-causing bacteria in the water. JFC developed the design.

Dr Andy Robertson, Scientist at Exeter University and member of the TB Advisory Service technical board, said: "Badgers will drink from water troughs if they can access them.

"Infected badgers may shed M. bovis (the bacteria which causes TB) in their saliva, and research has shown that the bacteria can survive in water for up to 60 days.

"Water troughs are therefore a potential source of infection to cattle, and measures to reduce contamination by badgers are advised."

By taking a few simple preventative measures, the risk of bovine TB can be reduced:

• Ensure the trough is placed in a location that is not adjacent to structures that badgers could climb to access the water. This will also allow a 360 access to the water preventing any hierarchy issues. JFC recommends that there should be one water trough for every 20 cows.

• Ensure the water trough has a badger access preventive design such as tapered sides making it difficult to climb.

• A mains water supply is recommended, and any stream, pond or river should be fenced off to cattle.

• All water troughs should be cleaned and emptied as often as possible.

For more info on bovine TB visit tbhub.co.uk and for free advice about reducing the risk of TB in your herd contact TBAS tbas.org.uk.