New TB measures for cattle
Further measures to protect England from bovine TB are being introduced as part of a government strategy that aims to deliver TB-free status for over half of the country by 2019.
From 6th April 2016, new legislation will require farmers in the Low Risk Area of England to arrange for post-movement testing of cattle coming from the rest of England and from Wales.
With more than half of new bovine TB infections in the Low Risk Area clearly linked to cattle purchased from higher risk areas, introduction of compulsory post-movement testing should provide greater confidence that the Low Risk Area can become and remain officially TB-free.
Following consultation last year, three additional measures will also be introduced at the same time:
- Tighter movement restrictions. All herds in the High Risk Area of England affected by a new TB breakdown will need to pass two tests before movement restrictions are lifted. This will increase the chances of finding all infected animals in those herds, helping to reduce recurrent breakdowns and to protect other herds.
- Government-funded pre-sale testing. Free pre-sale TB tests will be available to many herd owners in the Low Risk Areas selling twenty or more cattle in a single purchase. This will enable sellers to provide additional assurance for buyers and mitigate the low risk of undetected TB spreading to new herds.
- The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will start offering the option of private Interferon Gamma blood tests to diagnose TB under certain conditions and subject to prior approval from APHA.