Bovine tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium bovis, is a well-known zoonotic disease which affects cattle world-wide. The public health risk has been alleviated in many countries by the introduction of pasteurisation, but the disease continues to cause production losses when poorly controlled. The Office International des Epizooties classifies bovine tuberculosis as a List B disease, a disease which is considered to be of socio-economic or public health importance within countries and of significance to the international trade of animals and animal products. Consequently, most developed nations have embarked on campaigns to eradicate M. bovis from the cattle population or at least to control the spread of infection. The success of these eradication and control programmes has been mixed. Mycobacterium bovis infects other animal species, both domesticated and wild, and this range of hosts may complicate attempts to control or eradicate the disease in cattle.