Wednesday 13th December
As the problem of TB continues to grow, there is a greater level of attention directed on TB testing. In order to ensure that we help you manage the control of this important disease in this area, all our vets are expected to follow the exact protocol for TB testing laid down by APHA. Our staff are now being checked regularly to ensure compliance; this may involve unannounced on-farm inspections of the finer details of their work. We are keen that the accuracy of your test cannot be called into question.
Most of our farms have excellent facilities and help available, but we hope that you won’t be offended if we take this opportunity to explain exactly what is needed in order for us to complete your TB test accurately and efficiently.
TB testing staff will need to clip, inject the tuberculin and on both days, measure skin thickness. The official ear tag numbers must also be read and recorded on both days.
- You will need to present all cattle in handling facilities which provide good restraint and safe access to the animal being tested e.g. A crush / Race with head yoke / AI pen. This is your legal obligation for TB control.
- Ideally the handling system will be linked by a securely constructed race.
- The testing area should be well lit.
- A table / work surface for equipment and paperwork would be helpful.
- A member of staff to assist with the recording of tag numbers and skin measurements will always greatly speed up the testing process.
- Please provide suitable toilet and break facilities for longer tests.
- Please provide suitable facilities for our staff to disinfect before and after the test.
- Presenting your farm movement records for inspection by our staff may be beneficial in demonstrating evidence of movement record compliance to other statutory authorities.
Using well designed and constructed handling facilities (suitable for the size and temperament of cattle to be tested) will avoid unnecessary stress for you, your cattle, save time and most importantly provide a safe working environment for TB testing staff and farm personnel. We appreciate you and your team’s full cooperation to enable effective, efficient and safe testing.
These requirements may mean making a few changes to your routine, even recruiting additional help or hiring handling equipment for the two days. If any of the above is likely to present a problem then please contact us as soon as possible. We will be encouraging our TB testing team to agree workable solutions with you before the day of the test itself. Unfortunately if we find that we cannot carry out the test properly or safely, our staff are instructed to abandon the test. This may mean that your test has to be rescheduled and may become overdue.
Please don’t feel that we are picking your farm out for special attention. We are sending this information out to all farms when tests are booked with us, so that everyone is clear about the necessary requirements and the need to work together to control this important disease.
If you have any questions, please contact us on 01335 342227 (option 1) and ask for Kerry Turner.