The farmer may not yet have been directly informed by the Department of Agriculture that their cattle were ‘trade suspended’, said ICOS National Marts Executive Ray Doyle.
He outlined occurrences of this problem to Department representatives recently.
The TB rules are that, following disclosure of reactors in a herd, and subsequent categorisation of the breakdown as high-risk, notifications are issued to all contiguous or adjoining herds.
A testing programme is undertaken in contiguous herds designated as ‘TB at risk’.
If not tested in the previous four months, contiguous herds are likely to be immediately temporarily trade suspended, other than to slaughter, pending a test outcome. Ray Doyle said, “It’s essential that farmers are directly and rapidly informed if their animals are being restricted.”
He welcomed reassurances from the Department that every effort is made by Regional Veterinary Offices to let herd owners know when they are restricted.
n The Department confirmed to ICOS at their meeting that any animal that has an inconclusive reactor reaction will be prevented from moving from the herd concerned for the duration of its lifetime, except to slaughter.
The Department provided findings showing that between 11.8% and 21.4% of Standard Inconclusive Reactors (incuding the Inconclusive Reactor Re-test) were positive at post-mortem, compared to 0.13-0.22% of non-SIR animals.
Where an SIR passes a retest, its passport will be stamped, as a visible warning to prevent the herd keeper inadvertently bringing the animal to the mart, and having the sale refused.