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Statutory TB Testing during the Covid-19 Lockdown

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Statutory TB Testing during the Covid-19 Lockdown

Contingency plans are in place to manage statutory TB testing during the Covid-19 crisis. The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) is supporting farmers through the challenges faced when requested to attend statutory testing at this time.

Farms that are unable to complete their tests during the allocated window due to the government lock-down, will be placed under movement restriction- despite officials stating that delays to herd testing are ‘inevitable’.

tb testing cows

BPS Penalties

APHA has commented that those who miss a test due to the Coronavirus will not incur Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) penalties or be awarded reduced compensation, in any case where the farmer has made ‘all reasonable endeavours’ to complete their tests within the specified window and there are genuine mitigating circumstances, such as a farmer with Coronavirus symptoms who is self-isolating or a family member on a farm is self-isolating and no one else is able to take the cattle to be tested.

TB Testing is continuing as normal albeit with reduced veterinary staff provisions and additional biosecurity and personal protection measures. Some tests will have to be re-scheduled as farmers and vets are forced to self-isolate. A balance must be met between social distancing and TB disease control. Keep informed of updates and engage in discussions via TB Hub.

Best Decisions Possible

APHA is advising veterinary practices to make the best decisions possible in difficult circumstances, in order for the highest possible proportion of tests to be carried out.  

“It is recognised that each situation will be different and while most will be resolved by sensible discussion between the official veterinarian and the owner/keeper, there are likely to be cases that are more difficult to resolve, and advice should be sort from senior staff in APHA or veterinary delivery partners” APHA have stated.

Advice and Support

If you are looking for any support or advice in terms of best practice or require support for your BPS applications, please contact our team. Although all offices are closed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic our team is working remotely and is fully functional. We may need to take your number and ask the appropriate person to call you back, but please call 01788 564680 or email: rugrural@howkinsandharrison.co.uk

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