FVS, through XL Farmcare Midlands Ltd, provides all the TB testing for the area extending from Nottingham in the north, to Northampton in the south, and from Coalville in the west to Wisbech in the east. In 2016, our busy TB team tested over 65,000 cattle!
When a herd’s TB test is due, you will be notified by APHA. It is your responsibility to arrange your TB test within the time limits given. However, we also receive the same information. So we will help ensure you do not miss the deadline, and be in contact to arrange a mutually convenient date.
The TB testing diary is co-ordinated by Kirstie Griffiths at our Melton branch (01664 567481), and the tests are carried out by our team of vets: William Colmenares (TB Manager), Alvaro Minguez Rico and Jorge Robayna.
The days spent TB testing can be long. So please help us by presenting all cattle in handling facilities which provide good restraint and safe access to the animal being tested.
From April 2016, more stringent rules are being introduced to help reduce the risk of TB spread into our area. They are as follows:
1. Introduction of post-movement testing to the Low Risk Area (4 yearly testing areas). From 6 April 2016, farmers in the Low Risk Area (LRA) of England must arrange for post movement tests to be carried out on animals coming from annual (or more frequent) surveillance testing areas of England and Wales, between 60 and 120 days after the animal arrives to the LRA. Some exemptions apply. These tests will be at the cattle keeper’s own expense.
2. Handling of bovine TB breakdowns in the High Risk Area. All herds in the High Risk Area (HRA) of England affected by a new TB breakdown will need to complete a minimum of two short interval tests using ‘severe’ interpretation before restrictions are lifted. This will happen irrespective of whether cattle with typical TB lesions or positive culture results have been identified. This will increase the chances of detecting all infected animals in those herds, helping reduce recurrent infections and protect other herds from the risk of lifting restrictions too early.
3. Pre-sale TB check test in the Low Risk Area. Cattle keepers with herds on 4 year surveillance testing looking to sell a proportion of their herd, and subject to meeting a specific criteria, will be able to have a Defra funded pre-sale TB check carried out on the whole of the herd. This will provide assurance for prospective buyers on the disease status of the cattle and mitigate the risk of cattle with undetected infection moving to new herds.
4. Private Interferon Gamma Assay blood tests. APHA will start offering the option of ‘private’ Interferon Gamma Assay blood tests in certain circumstances. Permission for these tests must always be sought in advance from APHA.
And from November 2017, all IRs (Inconclusive Reactors) in the High Risk Area (HRA) and Edge Area (and in TB breakdown herds in the Low Risk Area) that have a negative result on re-testing will be restricted for the rest of their life to the holding in which they were found. In other words they cannot be sold to anyone else and can only go direct to slaughter. The proviso is that if you do want to sell an IR animal it has to have a private gamma interferon test at the owner’s expense. If this is positive, the herd is deemed to be a reactor herd and placed under restriction until such time as it achieves two clear 60 day tests when restrictions will be lifted.