Date set for tougher TB rules in Scotland

Tighter TB controls will be introduced in Scotland next month in a bid to reduce the spread of the disease to Scottish farms.

From 18 May, legislation will come into force requiring stricter pre-movement testing of cattle from high-incidence infection areas, the Scottish government announced.

The rules include cattle from a low-incidence TB area that have been in a high-incidence area at any time of their life. Eligible cattle will require a clear pre-movement test within 30 days prior to the movement to Scotland if tested after 18 May.

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This requirement was previously 60 days. Additional changes mean that a negative TB test in a herd under movement restrictions will no longer be accepted as a qualifying pre-movement test.

The changes made under the Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order 2023 Consolidation were first set out last November, and also include a tougher approach to unclean cattle.

Compensation rates

Compensation rates for dirty cattle, presented for slaughter to control TB, will be reduced by 50% to incentivise farmers to keep their animals clean and promote better health and welfare.

Further compensation cuts will be introduced for reactors and inconclusive reactors that have not been properly isolated.

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Although Scotland is officially TB-free, cases do still occur – and breakdowns are extremely disruptive, upsetting and distressing for cattle owners.

“We are committed to maintaining Scotland’s low TB infection rates and OTF status, which is crucial to the success of our cattle industry.”