In 1968 in the Czech republic the programme of elimination of tuberculosis in cattle caused by germs of
Mycobacterium bovis was successfully completed. The project proper was started in 1959 by examination of the
whole population of cattle with tuberculin tests. The situation which was revealed was disastrous: the prevalence in
cattle was on average 21.03 % whereby it reached 32.26 % in milking cows, i.e. every third cow had TB, as was
also confirmed in slaughterhouses. Hundreds of cases in humans caused by M. bovis were notified. The annual
economic losses were more than a billion crowns. The health campaign was based on the method “test and slaughter”
and on the replacement of heavily infected herds by TB free ones. It was necessary to replace 1 360 000 heads of
TB cattle. This called for the solution of many complicated methodical, legislative, organizational, economic and
social problems. Mandatory pasteurization of milk was introduced. Tuberculin tests of the whole cattle population
(on average twice a year) supplemented by epizootological, laboratory and postmortem examinations led to the
detection of all foci. The final results are up to the present time reflected in the substantially better production capacity
of the cattle, TB free milk and a marked decline of M. bovis in humans.
Mycobacterium bovis, bovine tuberculosis, health campaign.