Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a chronic and contagious disease that affects domestic animals, wildlife, and humans. Caused by Mycobacterium bovis, BTB causes major economic losses and poses a serious constraint to international livestock trade. Moreover, in developing countries where BTB controls are lacking, M. bovis is a public health concern. In most developing countries, the prevalence of BTB in livestock is unknown because the information is either not reported or not available. In Ecuador, there is no national BTB control program. This article reviews the BTB situation in Ecuador by examining exhaustive data from tuberculin testing surveys and slaughterhouse surveillance studies conducted in 1972-2008 in a variety of the country's geographic areas. In Ecuador, several factors, including the dairy industry's expansion (preempted by the high demand for milk and its by-products), intensified efforts to increase the cattle population, the presence of M. bovis, and a lack of BTB controls, have caused a rise in BTB prevalence, and consequently, a growing push for the implementation of a national BTB control program.