New rules to help reduce the risk of spreading bovine TB through
movements of cattle in England will now be introduced on 27 March
to give industry more time to prepare for the measure, Defra announced
Defra has listened to concerns raised by the farming industry
and veterinary profession and will appoint an independent advisor
to carry out a rapid survey of veterinary capacity and preparedness
to deliver the new requirements for pre movement testing. The detail
of the policy will not be subject to review.
Animal Health and Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said:
“Effective cattle controls are vital to combat continuing
increases in bovine TB. Pre-movement testing is essential to reduce
the risk of this disease spreading through cattle movements.
“Delaying introduction until 27 March is not a decision
that has been taken lightly and I urge farming and veterinary communities
to use this additional time to consider the detailed guidance and
prepare their businesses for the new start date.
“Our advice remains that it is good practice to conduct
pre- and post- movement tests. Farmers should not wait for legislation
to do this; it is in everyone’s interests - these tests
are a necessary fact of life if we want to reduce the levels of
From 27 March it will be a statutory requirement that cattle aged
over 15 months of age moving out of a 1 -2 yearly tested
herd, must have tested negative to a TB test within 60 days prior
to movement unless the herd or movement meets any of the exemptions.
Farmers should plan ahead and will want to seek and retain evidence
of clear TB tests so those animals can move freely for 60 days.
Routine herd surveillance tests can be used as a pre-movement
test, and will continue to be paid for by the Government, as long
as the animals are moved within 60 days of a clear test.
All other pre-movement tests must be arranged and paid for by
the herd owner.
Pending the introduction of pre-movement testing in Wales, herd
owners in England should assure themselves that cattle bought from
1 - 2 yearly tested herds in Wales have been pre-movement
All cattle owners have been sent an annual statement explaining
their parish and herd testing interval with a guidance booklet,
TB in Cattle - Reducing the Risk: Pre- and Post- Movement
testing in Great Britain. This booklet explains how herd owners
can meet the new testing requirements was issued to the industry
in December 2005.
1. Pre-movement testing was originally to be introduced on 20
February 2006 as one of the new measures announced by Defra in
December 2005 to tackle bovine TB in cattle in England, the others
being the introduction of a new cattle compensation system, which
came into force on 1 February, and a 12-week consultation on badger
culling, which ends on 10 March.
2. For further information on pre-movement testing cattle owners
should contact their local Animal Health Divisional Office (AHDO).
3. From 1 March 2007, pre-movement testing requirements will be
extended to cattle over 42 days old (subject to exemptions).
4. The Welsh Assembly Government plans to introduce the same pre-movement
testing policy in Spring 2006. Pending introduction of pre-movement
testing in Wales, English herd owners are advised to request evidence
that cattle over 15 months of ages moved from 1 or 2 yearly tested
herds in Wales are either pre-movement tested or exempt.
5. The Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department
introduced compulsory pre- and post- movement testing requirements
for Scotland on 23 September 2005. The legislation requires Scottish
keepers to ensure that all cattle over 42 days of age, originating
from 1 or 2 yearly testing parishes have been pre-movement tested
within 60 days prior to the movement, before being moved onto their
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