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Scotland Achieves TB-Free Status

23 February 2010
National Farmers Union

SCOTLAND, UK - An officially TB Free (OTF) status for Scotland was approved by a unanimous vote of EU Member States in September 2009 and is now confirmed in amended Commission Decision 2003/467/EC.

Industry, Animal Health, Defra, the Welsh Assembly government and the Scottish government have been working together over the last few months to ensure there is minimum impact on industry because of this, across the UK.

Defra have published a Q’n’A, which was agreed and developed by the above stakeholders, today on their website. This can be accessed using this link .

Cattle moving into Scotland from England and Wales must comply with the following from 28th February 2010:

  • The current requirement for pre- and post-movement testing of cattle from 1 and 2 yearly tested herds in England and Wales to Scotland will continue. All cattle of 42 days or over moving to Scotland from 1 and 2 yearly tested herds in England and Wales must have had a clear TB test no more than 60 days prior to the movement. They will also need to be post-movement tested between 60 and 120 days of their arrival in a Scottish herd.

  • A pre-movement test, using the standard comparative tuberculin skin test, with a negative result, is required for all cattle moving into Scotland from all low incidence areas of England (3 and 4 yearly tested herds) no more than 60 days before movement and no less than 60 days after any previous test, unless exempt.

Exceptions to this requirement:

1. Cattle can be shown to have spent their whole lives in low incidence areas;

2. Cattle sent direct to slaughter in Scotland;

3. Calves less than 42 days of age (these will not require testing prior to movement but will need to be tested post movement if they originate from a high incidence area).

The requirement to test before movement to Scotland will be determined by the status of the holdings/parishes that an animal has lived in, at the time of the movement to Scotland. A list of current parish testing frequencies can be found on the Animal Health website and details of the parish testing intervals (PTIs) for your holding’s location will be sent to you each year in your PTI statement.

To help you to determine whether animals were born in high TB incidence areas there is also a map on Animal Health’s website which shows the 2010 parish testing intervals overlain by ear-tag prefix areas.

Movements through high incidence areas during an animal’s life can be determined from cattle movement records, individual cattle passports and via CTS online (for current keepers of cattle).

  • Compliance will be monitored through cross checks between CTS and the TB testing database.

  • bTB isolation units in Scotland which permit Irish imports to be exempt from post import testing will be phased out by the end of 2010, and importers will be required to meet the cost of post import testing (as for movements from high incidence areas in GB).

  • Pre-export tuberculin testing of cattle over 42 days of age in Scotland will continue even though not required of an OTF region.

  • Abattoir surveillance in Scotland through meat inspection will continue.

  • Reporting of suspect TB cases will continue as TB is a notifiable disease.

  • Source and spread tracings of confirmed breakdowns will continue.

  • Gamma interferon testing for all new confirmed breakdowns in Scotland will continue.

Routine tuberculin testing is not required in an OTF country but the Scottish government recognise this is advisable during a transitional period – their proposed strategy is:

1. Risk analysis to establish criteria for at-risk herds
2. Every herd to be tested over next 4 years ‘health check Scotland’
3. Four-yearly risk assessment, followed by annual testing if required
4. Consideration of whole herd tests versus selected animal tests
Consideration of ceasing routine testing in islands with low disease risk.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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