Ireland - Pre-Movement Testing Row

Date of publication : 12/20/2004
Source : Farming Life
Chief Veterinary Officer, Bert Houston, has confirmed to Farming Life that the Department of Agriculture and Northern Ireland will undertake to carry out all premovement Brucellosis testing within five working days of laboratory staff receiving blood samples. "This is solely on the basis of no problems being identified and has no bearing on any delays or hold-ups that may occur in getting the samples submitted in the first instance," he said. The chief vet also stressed that animals would be clear to move off farm the instant notification of a clear test is put up on the APHIS website. DARD will also write out to vets confirming all test results. But Bert Houston's comments have cut little ice with Co Down herdowner Robert Murray. "We had heifers sampled as part of our annual herd test on Monday, November 30, with the intention of selling them on Saturday, December 11," Robert told Farming Life. "But we had to wait until Friday, December 10 to get the all clear, by which time it was too late to get the cattle away the next day. As a result, we have had to wait until this coming Saturday (December 18) to get the cattle away. "This is having a detrimental impact on our cashflow and I know the same principle holds on other farms." He added: "I know that the Department are encouraging herdowners to give adequate notice of their intention to sell cattle that now require pre-movement Brucellosis clearance. But, in our case, this was an annual herd test, so there was adequate notice provided." Pre-movement Brucellosis testing became compulsory from December 1. Females and bulls over 12 months of age must have a clear test on a sample taken within the 30 days prior to movement. The new regulations cover moves to markets, another market, over-wintering premises and shows. Movements to slaughter, either directly or via a live cull collection centre, do not require a pre-movement test. In general, one test covers one move only. However, there are some exceptions. An animal can move to any number of shows during the 30- day period without the requirement of a second test as long as it returns to the herd of origin each time, without visiting any other herd. In addition, an animal that moves to a market with a clear test, during the 30-day period, but is not sold and returns to the herd of origin, without visiting any other herd does not require a further test if it is moved again within 30 days of the date of sampling.
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