All cattle in Wales are required to have pre-movement TB testing before they can leave a farm, under measures designed to prevent the disease from spreading.
Cattle over six weeks of age must test negative no more than 60 days before movement and movements from restricted herds must be made within 30 days of a clear test.
However, there are several exemptions (see “TB testing exemptions”, right) which until this month included the Sole Occupancy Authority.
Here is a reminder of the rules.
Q What has happened to the Pre-Movement Testing (PrMT) Sole Occupancy Authority (SOA) exemption?
A The exemption allowing untested movements between parcels of land within an SOA ended on 1 October.
Q What mechanism is now in place for untested movements?
A Farmers who already possess an SOA can apply for an Interim Land Association Management (Ilam) agreement to allow them to move cattle between premises within the Ilam without the need for PrMT.
Q What is an Ilam agreement?
A It allows cattle movements between parcels of land within an existing SOA to continue, subject to a number of criteria.
Q What are the criteria?
A The key one is that the boundary of land in the outlying premises must be within 10 miles of the boundary of the main farm premises, as the crow flies.
It is possible, therefore, to have two parcels of land within the Ilam that are 20 miles apart, although both must be within 10 miles of the main premises.
TB testing exemptions
Those cattle moving directly to slaughter/slaughter market and those returning back to the farm they come from
- Those moving directly to exempt finishing units or exempt markets
- Those moving between their registered holding and commons which their keeper has grazing rights
- Those moving to unhoused shows of less than a day and returning to the holding they came from
- Those moving directly to approved finishing units
- Those moving under an Ilam
It is OK if the land is rented from a landlord who is the nominal occupier in Rural Payments Wales terms, but operations must be separate from any of the landlord’s activities.
Q Is there a limit to the number of parcels of land I can include within my Ilam agreement?
A No, as long as these parcels were already included within the existing SOA, do not exceed the 10-mile rule or breach any of the other criteria.
Q How do I apply for an Ilam and will it cost me?
A Contact your vet. They will need to support your application, but you will have to pay for this service. The application form is available on the Animal and Plant Health Agency website.
Q Can I apply for an Ilam agreement if I don’t have an existing SOA?
No. This is an interim measure while a review is undertaken of the County Parish Holding system and is not designed to extend access to a PrMT exemption.
Q Does an Ilam replace movement reporting?
A No, you must inform the British Cattle Movement Service of movements undertaken between parcels of land included within an Ilam agreement.
Q I have an Ilam agreement that includes seasonal grazing. If a holding contiguous to this parcel of land goes down with TB, will my cattle on this land and at the main holding need a contiguous test?
A Contiguous testing requirements are assessed by AHVLA on a case-by-case basis. This approach will also be applied to cattle at the main holding.
Q If I am under TB restriction, can I apply for an Ilam?
A You can, but herds under restriction are governed by a separate testing regime and you will not be able to use the Ilam agreement until the restrictions are lifted.