Goat Milk and Bovine TB
Like most mammals, goats are susceptible to infection by bovine TB, but in non-bovine farmed animals in the UK it is extremely rare for it to occur.
As with cow’s milk, pasteurisation ensures that goat’s milk and the products made from it (such as goats cheese, goats butter or goats milk yogurt) are safe for human consumption and there is no risk to public health.
Consumers who drink pasteurised goat milk or consume dairy products made from pasteurised goat milk are safe to continue to consume and enjoy these products.
Farms supplying all of the Goat Dairy Trade Association members adhere to farm assurance and welfare standards as part of the Goat Farmers (UK) Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme. This enables the farms to carry Red Tractor Accreditation. This specific scheme covers TB control measures in order to minimise the risk of TB to the herd. In order to meet the certification standards of this scheme each of these farms are inspected on a yearly basis.
The UK dairy goat industry is made up of 40-45 thousand goats producing just less than 34 million litres of milk commercially. This compares to a UK dairy herd of 1.9 million cows producing just less than 15 billion litres of cows’ milk (2014/5).
Though significant, goat dairy remains a specialist market with goat milk representing less than 0.2% of the volume of cows’ milk produced in the UK.
Goat cheese (UK and imported) is now in the top 10 cheeses consumed in the UK.
Goats’ milk produced in the UK is primarily sold as butter, cheese and yogurt.