Bovine Tuberculosis: Proposals to amend The Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order 2007

Closes 1 Aug 2022

Opened 9 May 2022

Overview

The Scottish Government seek to gather views on specific proposals relating to bovine tuberculosis, including diagnostic testing, cattle movements, isolation requirements and unclean cattle.

Read the consultation paper 

Background

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a notifiable disease of cattle, which can also affect other mammals. It continues to present a significant challenge to the farming sector across the UK.

Scotland achieved Officially Tuberculosis Free Status (OTF) in September 2009, in recognition of the relatively low and stable incidence of TB found in Scottish herds, and this pattern is consistent with sporadic introductions of disease which are eradicated through testing and removal of infected cattle.

The current Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order came into force in 2007 and has been amended a number of times since, most recently to make amendments arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. We are proposing to consolidate all of the bovine tuberculosis legislation in one updated TB Order. We are also considering a number of amendments to the legislation.

The proposals set out below support the maintenance of our OTF status in Scotland, and the eradication of bovine TB across Great Britain.

 

Scope of the Consultation

Scottish Government are launching this consultation to gather views on specific proposals for TB diagnostic testing, cattle movements, isolation requirements and unclean cattle.

The following amendments are proposed:

  • Amend the provisions for the application of diagnostic tests, to include a requirement for the prior written permission of Scottish Ministers where non-statutory and private samples are taken with the intention of applying a diagnostic test for TB
     
  • End the practice of accepting a clear final short interval test (SIT) at the end of all TB breakdowns as a valid pre-movement test. Cattle to be moved out of such herds will need to have a further (bespoke) pre-movement skin test with negative results
     
  • Shorten the period during which a pre-movement test with negative results remains valid, from the current 60 days to 30 days after tuberculin injection - to bring domestic pre-movement testing into line with the testing of cattle intended for export and further reduce the risk of cattle contracting TB between the dates of the test and the movement
     
  • Reduce compensation for unclean cattle at slaughter
     
  • Tighten the measures relating to the isolation of reactors and inconclusive reactors (IRs)

Animal Health and Welfare is a devolved matter and the proposals included in this consultation apply to Scotland only.

Why your views matter

Anyone is welcome to respond to this consultation. The Scottish Government would particularly like to hear from:

  • the keepers of cattle or livestock
  • cattle or livestock associations
  • veterinary surgeons or associations
  • agricultural markets and valuers
  • animal welfare advocates
  • anyone else with an interest in the eradication and control of bovine TB in Scotland

This consultation will help us to gauge attitudes towards these proposals and make informed decisions from the responses, but will also help us to account for any unanticipated impacts that these changes could have on those they will affect. We also would be interested to know if there are any other policy changes that there is an appetite for but we have not covered in our proposals.

Give us your views

Interests

  • Farming and Rural