In the guide
The measures in place to reduce the risk of bovine tuberculosis, and the pre- and post-movement testing of cattle as methods to prevent its spread
This guidance is for Wales
Under the Tuberculosis (Wales) Order 2010 all cattle on farms are required by the Welsh Government to be subject to a routine annual bovine tuberculosis (bTB) test, and to pre- and post-movement testing where applicable.
All cattle on farms are subject to routine testing for bTB on an annual basis. Only premises in the Intensive Action Area (IAA) are required to have whole-herd bTB testing on a six-monthly basis.
From 1 October 2017, the Welsh Government is implementing a regional approach to bTB eradication across Wales, with the introduction of 'low', 'intermediate' and 'high' bTB areas. You can find out which bTB area your holding is located in on the Welsh Government's Lle website.
The location of your holding will determine whether pre- and/or post-movement (PrMT and PoMT) bTB testing is required - for example, bTB pre-movement testing is not required for movements between holdings situated in the low bTB area; cattle in Wales require a post-movement test when they are moved from the intermediate or high bTB areas in Wales (or from England's 'edge area' or 'high risk area', or Northern Ireland) into the low bTB area.
The table below, created by the Welsh Government, shows when a pre- and/or post-movement test is required.
|Move from||Move to||PrMT||PoMT|
|low (Wales)||low (Wales)||no||no|
|intermediate (Wales)||low (Wales)||yes||yes|
|high (Wales)||low (Wales)||yes||yes|
|low (England)||low (Wales)||no||no|
|edge (England)||low (Wales)||yes||yes|
|high (England)||low (Wales)||yes||yes|
|low (Wales)||intermediate (Wales)||no||no|
|intermediate (Wales)||intermediate (Wales)||yes||no|
|high (Wales)||intermediate (Wales)||yes||no|
|low (England)||intermediate (Wales)||no||no|
|edge (England)||intermediate (Wales)||yes||no|
|high (England)||intermediate (Wales)||yes||no|
|low (Wales)||high (Wales)||no||no|
|intermediate (Wales)||high (Wales)||yes||no|
|high (Wales)||high (Wales)||yes||no|
|low (England)||high (Wales)||no||no|
|edge (England)||high (Wales)||yes||no|
|high (England)||high (Wales)||yes||no|
Post-movement testing of cattle can only be undertaken between 60-120 days after arrival on your holding. The cattle may not move off your holding before this period and until tested negative for bTB by an inspector or one of the exemptions outlined below is met.
Post-movement testing is not required for cattle coming from herds participating in the Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHeCS) TB programme and classified as level 10.
A 'frequently asked questions' document is available on the Welsh Government website.
Moving to grass keep will involve a movement and reporting to other premises and possibly a veterinary risk assessment. Pre- and post-movement testing may be required depending on which bTB area you are located in.
Your annual bTB test can also count as a pre-movement test.
Exemptions to the rules
Permitted movements without pre-movement testing:
Permitted movements without post-movement testing:
The Welsh Ministers can serve a notice on the keeper of bovine animals requiring the animals to be tested for bTB by a certain date. The keeper must provide all reasonable help to the inspector to facilitate the following:
If the keeper fails to have an animal tested for bTB as directed, the Welsh Ministers may serve a notice prohibiting the movement of bovine animals on and off the holding except under licence by an inspector until the test has been completed.
In certain circumstances the Welsh Ministers may take any necessary steps to facilitate the examination, testing, valuation and removal of animals if the keeper does not test for bTB when directed to do so, and recover the amount of any expenses incurred from the keeper.
If the keeper fails to have animals tested for bTB because the animals are too wild to gather, or the nature of the terrain makes it difficult to gather the animals safely, then the animals shall be treated as being affected with bTB and disposed of.
As soon as practicable after the results of the test have been read by an inspector, the keeper of the animals must be given a written record of the results.
The keeper of any animal that has been bTB tested must:
Farmers are advised to take a copy of the clear results of the test with them when presenting cattle moved off a farm for sale at market.
Alternatively, keepers may now voluntarily use the new bTB passport sticker scheme whereby the farmer is provided with a sticker for each clear-tested animal. This sticker needs to be placed in the passport and completed with the following information before being moved from the holding:
Details of bTB testing intervals are available on the GOV.UK website. As mentioned above, all premises in Wales are subject to annual testing, excluding those in the IAA.
Cost of testing
Herd owners are now expected to cover the costs of the approved veterinary inspector's time to carry out pre- and post-movement tests.
Failure to comply with this legislation is an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.
Last reviewed / updated: June 2018
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.
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