TB testing on farms to be greater centralised from April 2015

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has announced plans to centralise TB testing on farms to ensure greater efficiency from April 2015. 

By Sarah.Aston

10 Nov 2014

Currently, over 2,000 individual approved vets carry out TB testing across the UK. The APHA plan to reduce this number in a bid to better manage who is testing for TB and how they are doing it.

From April 2015, delivery partners who have won tenders for the work will be responsible for TB testing in one or more regions in England and Wales.

Under the new arrangement, animal keepers will still be responsible for arranging TB testing but will have to liaise with the deliver partner in their region to do so. The delivery partner will then allocate a qualified vet to carry out the test and will monitor how it is being carried out.   

Simon Hall, APHA’s veterinary director said: “Testing will always be performed by a fully qualified vet but the new arrangements will help ensure that on-farm testing is as effective as it is possible to be in detecting disease, and that the taxpayer is only being asked to pay what is necessary for the testing.”

Delivery partners will be contractually required to offer testing work to veterinary businesses operating within their geographical region and livestock keepers will be able to express a preference for a particular sub-contracted veterinary business.

Keepers who wish for testing to be done by other vets can continue to pay for this privately.

According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ latest statistics updated on 15 October 2014, there have been 56,136 TB tests carried out on herds and 2,720 new herd incidents in 2014.

Tenders are currently under way and the successful delivery partners will be announced early 2015. 

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