Cattle buyers will be able to view the bovine TB history of animals they are about to purchase after the launch of a risk-based trading scheme.

DEFRA said its scheme would encourage cattle buyers to share details about the disease history of cattle they were selling – and buyers to act on that information.

Under the scheme farmers will be able to see when an animal’s last pre-movement test was carried out and the date of the seller’s last routine herd test. In the case of herds that have had a TB breakdown, the date on which it was last declared officially TB-free will also be available.

The scheme is due to be unveiled at Chelford market, Cheshire, on 9 November. Speaking ahead of the launch, farm minister George Eustice hailed risk-based trading as a step towards stopping the disease spread.

“It will also benefit farmers in high-risk areas that have managed to keep TB off their farm by helping them get the best price for their cattle,” said Mr Eustice.

NFU vice-president Adam Quinney added: “There is wide agreement there needs to be many approaches to tackling TB, one of which is better information for farmers when they are trading livestock.

“The key to unlocking this challenge is to empower farmers through better TB information at the point of sale. The wider benefits of being able to buy and sell stock, knowing the risks, should allow farmers to purchase livestock with more confidence.”

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