'Your herd is restricted' - farmers told of TB positive herds at marts
There has been a number of cases in recent months where herd owners have presented cattle for sale at marts only to find that their cattle are ‘trade suspended’ by the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) System, however the farmer may not yet have been directly informed of this by the Department of Agriculture.
ICOS has outlined some occurrences of this problem to Department representatives at the recent meeting of the Farmers Charter Monitoring Committee in December.
The current TB rules are that, following the disclosure of reactors in a herd and subsequent categorisation of the breakdown as high-risk, notifications are issued to all ‘contiguous’ or adjoining herds.
A testing programme is undertaken only in those herds contiguous to the infected fragment and which are then also designated as ‘TB at risk’.
The process is different depending on whether the herd has been tested within the previous four months or not.
- herds identified as being contiguous to the infective fragment(s), relevant to the breakdown and tested within the previous four months of the contiguous programme being set up, will still be required to carry out a TB test as normal 4-months after their last test. These herds will be free to trade until the 4-month anniversary of their previous test.
- herds identified as being contiguous to the infective fragment(s), relevant to the breakdown and not tested within the previous 4-months of the contiguous programme being set up will be immediately temporarily trade suspended, other than to slaughter, pending test outcome.
Ray Doyle of ICOS said, “It’s essential that farmers are directly and rapidly informed if their animals are being restricted. Otherwise they can face embarrassment and an unforeseen loss of income and cashflow if they are prohibited from trading.
“I welcome reassurances received from the Department that every effort is made by Regional Veterinary Offices to get in contact with herd owners to notify them when they are restricted.