Further changes to TB testing in Wales have been announced today

Further changes to TB testing in Wales have just been announced. 

Huw Irranca-Davies, cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, has made further changes to TB testing in Wales.

Huw Irranca-Davies, cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, has made further changes to TB testing in Wales after meeting with farmers across Wales. 

He said that the changes, which were announced today, 26th June, are in response to industry feedback and have been made to simplify procedures without compromising the risk of disease spread. 

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What the changes are 

  • The routine testing of calves under 42 days in a TB incident will no longer be carried out, unless the TB risk from these animals is considered high. 
  • Routine surveillance testing in Approved Finishing Units (AFUs), or Licensed Finishing Units (LFUs) is ceasing, unless the risk is considered high. 
  • Default skin testing of a cattle herd, following slaughterhouse suspicion alone, will cease to be a requirement. 
  • Tracing tests will continue to reduce the risk of TB spread through movements of cattle from TB breakdown herds. However, data analysis of trace tests, currently supports a move away from trace testing of all cattle moved in low risk situations.
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Changes made in response to industry feedback 

The cabinet secretary made the announcement ahead of speaking as the guest of honour for the first time at the British Veterinary Association Welsh dinner later today. 

He said the changes to the specific types of TB tests involved have also taken into account the resources required by farmers and vets and cost-effectiveness. 

Huw Irranca-Davies, cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs.

Huw Irranca-Davies added: “Since my appointment in March, I have made a point of meeting farmers, vets and others across the industry to listen to their concerns around TB and the burden and anxieties these can cause. 

“I’m pleased to be able to announce today that further changes – which have been made in response to industry feedback – are now in place. 

“Recognising the impact on farmers, their families and their businesses is at the forefront of my mind. 

“Last month I accepted all the Technical Advisory Group’s advice regarding the on-farm slaughter of TB reactors.“ 

We have worked alongside APHA and already implemented changes to the management of pregnant cattle. 

“Our programme for eradicating Bovine TB is centred around partnership working with our farmers and vets, this is crucial to reaching our shared goal of a TB-free Wales.”   

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