TB herd restrictions to return to seven days for overdue tests

Tuesday, 27 October, 2020

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has acknowledged the decision taken by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots, to adjust the current TB restrictions back to their usual measures.

From 1 December herd restrictions will return to being applied seven days after a TB test becomes overdue. Restrictions will also be applied to herds with TB tests overdue by more than seven days and less than 35 days, affecting moves to livestock markets and other herds. From 5 January 2021 when a herd test is 37 days overdue or more, measures will be in place to prevent other cattle being moved into restricted herds and to stop restricted herds being transported to slaughterhouses.

UFU animal health and welfare chairman Andrew McCammond said, “Our members were grateful of the flexibility given by DAERA over the past few months in relation to TB testing and COVID-19. It helped to ensure farmers were able to make their own health and wellbeing and their families’, a priority during this difficult time.

“Following the DAERA Minister’s TB restrictions announcement, I urge our farmers to be aware of the usual measures being reinstated from the beginning of December and in the New Year. This is vital to make sure that the movement of their herds does not become restricted down the line impacting negatively on their farm businesses.

“Until further advised, cattle farmers will not be referred to the paying agency for overdue TB tests if they and/or their private veterinary practitioner advise DAERA that the test could not be completed during the testing window due to COVID-19 concerns.”