Cattle farmers in Wales are reminded that pre-movement tests for cattle moving from hers under one- and two-year testing restrictions over 15 months of age are now compulsory. 

Before the movement can occur the animal must have tested negative for bTB within the past 60 days, unless the herd or movement meets one of the exemptions. 

Farmers are being advised to refer to the guidance booklet, TB in Cattle – Reducing the Risk: Pre and Post – Movement Testing in Great Britain sent in December 2005 for guidance on exemption criteria.

Welsh Assembly Rural Affairs minister Carwyn Jones said: “Evidence shows that cattle movements play a role in the way TB is spread. Pre-movement testing of cattle will help to reduce the spread of disease to low incidence areas of the country, contributing to a policy of ‘keeping clean areas clean’.

“We have been encouraging farmers to have their animals tested before moving them as a matter of course. However, from today testing is compulsory for certain movements.

“The new rules have not been introduced to inconvenience farmers in Wales. Pre-movement testing will ensure that animals can be transported safely, reducing the risk of spreading infection.

“This will help to reassure farmers of the health status of their herd and therefore should improve their income potential. I hope farmers realise that they will benefit from the new system, and ask for their assistance to comply in order to keep clean areas of Wales disease-free.”

Owners may use routine herd surveillance tests as a pre-movement test and will continue to be paid for by 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 with their local veterinary inspector (LVI).

It is proposed that pre-movement testing is introduced in two phases to allow time for herd owners and LVI practices to adjust to the new requirements.

Phase 2, which will require testing of cattle over 6 weeks of age, is anticipated for early 2007.

  • This publication gives an overview of the implications of the measure for farmers, and includes an outline of the various exemptions. Further information on bovine TB, including an electronic version of the guidance booklet and a diagram, can be found at: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/?lang=en