Cattle on active AFUs in England, which have been traced from a holding where there has been a new TB breakdown, no longer require testing for tracing purposes – unless deemed necessary by veterinary risk assessment.

Cattle on active approved finishing units (AFUs) in England, which have been traced from a holding on which there has been a new TB breakdown, will no longer require any testing for tracing purposes, unless a veterinary risk assessment deems such testing necessary.

Beef cattleThis decision, which will be implemented with immediate effect, follows a review of policy concerning testing of cattle traced to TB breakdown herds. It is part of a move towards a more risk-based approach to TB control and to reduce unnecessary burdens on cattle farming businesses.

In its July 2011 Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England, DEFRA stated that an assessment of policies for testing cattle traced from TB breakdowns was to be carried out by AHVLA. The purpose of this was to consider the extent to which it was possible to limit the number of tests required by applying a risk based approach, taking into account other mitigating factors in AFUs that keep disease control measures proportionate, such as routine testing and cattle moving only to slaughter.

This change does not affect the herd owner’s obligation to carry out regular testing of all cattle on an AFU on a 90 day (if with grazing, in England only) or six-monthly basis as appropriate.

The Welsh Government is currently considering whether to adopt a similar approach in Wales.

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