Cattle Farmers should keep eye on pre-movement testing

The National Beef Association (NBA) has warned about the possibility of a queue for pre-movement testing when movement restrictions are lifted.

Cattle farmers who want to take immediate advantage of the eventual relaxation of the movement of non-slaughter stock should keep an eye on their TB pre-movement testing.

There is concern that if pre-movement tests are delayed, and a queue forms, there will not be enough vets on hand to test store and breeding cattle and frustrated farmers will be left waiting.

"Although TB tests are currently confined to cattle that do not have to cross a road to be tested a full 88 per cent of herds that required a full test in August were visited," said NBA director, Kim Haywood.

"However the number of pre-movement tests has eased off dramatically even though Defra is still insisting that non-slaughter stock will not be able to be moved unless they have been tested within the past 60 days."

"This leaves owners in a tricky position because there is still no indication of when FMD restrictions on store and breeding stock will be relaxed and some are certain to be disappointed if everyone waits for the green light and rings their vet for an appointment at the same time because there will not be enough available to give full cover."

"Being obliged to keep cattle at a time they can be moved is something to be avoided so owners should keep a careful watch on FMD developments and do their best to make sure they are not caught out by the 60 day requirement when permission to move their stock eventually comes through."

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