Bovine TB – What do new mandatory testing for cattle movements mean for you?

12 September 2023

A photo of a herd of cattle on farm.

As of the 1 August 2023 mandatory post movement testing came into effect for cattle moving into herds in the annual surveillance testing parts of the Edge Area from areas of higher TB risk. Find out more about what this might mean for your farm.

The existing POSTMT (post-movement testing) policy in the Low-Risk Area has been extended to aid early detection and minimise the risk of disease spread from inward cattle movements. APHA estimate these movements are responsible for a fifth of all new breakdowns in the Edge Area.

How this may affect farms

The requirement for POSTMT is based on areas testing intervals, rather than variations in the individual herd tests.

APHA have written to all cattle keepers that these changes apply to.  

Know your area test interval

Both buyers and sellers should make sure that they know their area test interval both for accurate self-declaration (for vendors) and for informed purchasing decisions (for buyers).

These can be checked at: APHA | TB testing interval search

Earned recognition

Cattle herds in the six-monthly testing parts of the Edge Area which meet certain criteria are eligible for annual surveillance testing under ‘earned recognition’ rules.

However, vendors and buyers must be aware that cattle from herds which have ‘earned recognition’ will be subject to POSTMT even when they are purchased by a farmer located in an area where there is an annual testing measure in place.

More details of exemptions that may be in place for specific scenarios can be found at:

TB Hub | Post-movement testing in annual surveillance testing parts of the Edge Area

Interactive bovine TB risk areas map

AHDB have released a helpful interactive map that outlines the different bovine TB risk areas across Great Britain. 

The map allows farmers to see what the new policy changes means to each area. The tool will also aid early detection and minimise the risk of disease spread from inward cattle movements. APHA estimate these movements are responsible for a fifth of all new breakdowns in the Edge Area.

Find this at: TB Hub | Bovine TB Breakdown Map - Risk Areas, Great Britain

A map of the UK with the TB risk areas labelled.

Image (left): A map of the bovine TB risk areas in Great Britain. Herds located in the Edge Area (annual) are affected by the policy change outlined on this page.

Image source: Defra

Edge Area Counties High Risk Area Counties
Annual testing Six month testing Six month testing
Berkshire (East) Berkshire (West) Avon
Buckinghamshire Cheshire Cornwall
Derbyshire (North) Derbyshire (excluding North) Devon
East Sussex Hampshire (Northwest) Dorset
Hampshire (excluding North West) Oxfordshire Gloucestershire
Leicestershire Warwickshire Herefordshire
Northamptonshire   Shropshire
Nottinghamshire   Somerset
    West Midlands

You can download a spreadsheet which details the testing patterns for each parish in the regions of Berkshire, Derbyshire and Hampshire at: TB Testing Edge Areas – by parish

Financial support

Cattle keepers are responsible for the cost of post-movement testing however a government funded whole herd surveillance test can also be utilised if the timings allow.

Cattle keepers will be required to compulsory post-movement test animals over 42 days old (including farmed bison and Asiatic water buffalo) within 60 - 120 days of arriving in the annual surveillance part of the edge area. 

Additional guidance can also be found on the UK government website: Bovine TB: detailed information | GOV.UK

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU CallFirst will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.