Some questions and answers on the new Bovine TB terminology and breakdown policy
A herd’s TB status is now classed as Officially TB Free (OTF), Officially TB Free Withdrawn (OTFW) or Officially TB Free Suspended (OTFS).
We list below some frequently asked questions and answers. More detailed ones can be found on the Welsh Assembly Government’s website www.wales.gov.uk/bovinetb, or alternatively contact your Regional Animal Health Office.
1. I farm next to a herd whose status is currently OTFW. Does this mean my herd will automatically be put under restriction?
No, however, you may be required to have a contiguous test if a Veterinary Risk Assessment by Animal Health identifies that your herd is at risk. If reactors are disclosed then your herd will be classified as OTFW.
2. My herd has been restricted because of a breakdown within the last 3 years; the cattle slaughtered had TB lesions and/or were culture positive. What will my status be if I have reactors at my next test?
If, at your test, you have reactors, then your herd will be classified as OTFW and you will need two consecutive (60 days apart) clear TB tests in order for movement restrictions to be lifted. If, at your test, no reactors and no inconclusive reactors are disclosed you will retain your OTF status.
3. My neighbour recently had TB reactors where TB lesions were found. What will happen if I have never had TB restrictions but at my next test I have an inconclusive reactor but no reactors?
You will be required to isolate the Inconclusive Reactor until the animal is tested again (at least 60 days later).
Only the Inconclusive Reactor will be retained under movement restrictions, unless a Veterinary Risk Assessment indicates otherwise.
If your herd had been previously restricted and disease disclosed within the last three years, then the herd would be classified as OTFS and placed under restrictions.Your future status will depend on the result of the Inconclusive Reactor’s next test. If the animal does not test clear it will result in OTFW status for the whole herd.
4. If I have reactors, when will I know if I am OTFS or OTFW?
Animal Health will arrange to visit and discuss the criteria soon after reactors are found. Veterinary assessment will be made to determine the OTF status of your herd. If it is classified OTFW then this status will remain for the duration of the breakdown. If your herd is classified as OTFS, this status may change to OTFW in response to subsequent findings.
5. I’m in the Intensive Action Area (IAA), how am I affected?
The same criteria will be used for herds in the IAA to assess whether the herd should be classified OTFS or OTFW. Herds in the IAA that are OTFS will have to pass two clear Short Interval Tests read at standard interpretation to have restrictions lifted the same as now.
6. What is the definition of a contiguous holding?
A contiguous holding is one that is adjacent to, or in close proximity to another holding; therefore, having an epidemiological link. Animal Health will make this assessment.
7. What will Animal Health look for when considering holdings which are contiguous to mine?
Animal Health will look at the current OTF status of contiguous holdings to help determine the actions on your holding.
8. What if my cattle are on rented land or winter tack? Are they considered contiguous too?
Animal Health will consider this as part of the assessment.