The purpose of the study was to describe the results of follow up of human contacts of bovine tuberculosis. The bovine tuberculosis cases occurred on farms in North Staffordshire between 1993 and 1997. A total of 162 people were identified as having close contact with cattle diagnosed as having bovine tuberculosis, or who had drunk unpasteurized milk from a herd with bovine tuberculosis. A retrospective review of chest clinic notes was performed. One hundred and thirty-eight people attended for follow up, and Heaf test results, necessity for chest X-ray and further clinical follow-up are described. No case of human Mycobacterium bovis infection was identified. It is suggested that follow-up of human contacts is limited to those with close contact with herds who have bovine tuberculosis and cattle with visible pulmonary lesions or evidence of udder infection. Children on the farms with affected cattle should also be offered BCG in advance of the routine school's programme.