Within England and Wales a temporary amendment to the TB testing instructions has been put in place by the APHA retrospectively from 23 March 2020, until further notice.
The APHA acknowledges that it may not be possible to carry out TB testing of young calves while maintaining social distancing guidance, as close human contact may be required to handle, restrain and test them.
As such, calves under 180 days old at the start of a routine or targeted herd surveillance TB test can be excluded from skin testing in officially TB free (OTF) herds if, in the vet’s judgement, they can’t be tested safely in line with social distancing.
This temporary amendment will be applied retrospectively to incomplete tests where the final part of the test would have commenced on or after 23 March 2020, and to any qualifying tests from now on until further notice. It will be kept under regular review while the social distancing measures related to the COVID-19 outbreak are in place.
If all eligible animals 180 days old and over have been TB tested with negative results, the test will be considered complete. Any calves 42 to 179 days old that can’t be tested safely while maintaining social distancing will be left untested until the next TB test of the herd. In the meantime, pre and post-movement TB testing rules continue to apply.
For full details of this announcement, visit the TB Hub.