Whoa! Averaging 66,000 Unique Weekly Readers! 

NI News

Poots announces change to calf testing requirements to enhance safe bTB testing

2 Mins read

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA has today announced further measures to enable more TB herd tests to be completed safely on farms.

From 04 May 2020 calves under 180 days old may be exempt from all bovine TB (bTB) herd test types if they cannot be tested safely in accordance with the latest Public Health Agency guidance on social distancing amid the Covid-19 crisis. This will allow more herd tests to proceed safely. The Minister also announced a number of additional temporary measures to ease movement and testing controls while protecting animal health.

Minister Poots said: “From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic my department and I implemented a number of changes to safeguard the health and wellbeing of farmers, veterinary practitioners and staff, and I gave a commitment to keep this under review.

“To further enhance those measures I have decided to relax testing for calves under 180 days old where such tests can’t be carried out safely and in line with current PHA guidance on social distancing. This will facilitate more testing of older cattle, where herd tests can proceed safely, and will help to maintain the vital TB surveillance programme during the Covid-19 crisis. Herds with clear tests will retain or regain their Officially TB Free (OTF) status and can trade freely with the exception of untested calves aged between 42 and 180 days.

“To protect animal health and Northern Ireland’s international trading position the untested calves will be restricted and cannot be traded until/unless they can be tested safely with a negative result. This measure will be kept under review.

“In addition to relaxing the testing of calves I have also announced a number of temporary measures to ease the burden on farmers during this temporary phase, while maintaining animal health controls.”

Additional temporary measures include;

– Herds restricted for overdue tests will be allowed to purchase in cattle
– Herds will not be automatically associated when cattle are permitted to move, on welfare grounds, from one TB restricted herd to another restricted herd
– The requirement for herds, that haven’t been tested for 15 months, to complete two herd tests before regaining OTF status is being withdrawn as a temporary measure.
– Where a vet practice is not carrying out any bTB tests, the farmer can contact their local Divisional Veterinary Office (DVO) to request change of vet. Once the – DVO confirms the situation with the veterinary practice, the test can be re-assigned to the DVO or another practice.
– The number of TB letters sent to farmers will be reduced by streamlining the current communications.

Further information on bTB testing during Covid-19 can be obtained at http://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/testing-bovine-tuberculosis-during-covid-19-pandemic

The latest PHA Covid-19 guidance is available at https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/

11837 posts

About author
An article that is attributed to the Causeway Coast Community Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release. Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Causeway Coast Community? Email us - [email protected]
Related posts
NI News

We cannot ease up in our fightback – Health Minister

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppThat was the message from Health Minister Robin Swann as Northern Ireland’s most recent Covid-19 figures were announced and as hospitals here…
Local NewsNI News

Travel Corridor Suspended

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppThe UK Government has announced that it is to suspend the travel corridor system until at least 15 February. This will come…
NI News

22-year-old Daryl Concepcion sentenced to 3 years and 6 months for rape of an 18 year old female

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppDetectives have welcomed the conviction of 22-year-old Daryl Concepcion for rape. He appeared at Belfast Crown Court today, Friday 15th January and…