National Beef Association
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Press Release - NBA encourages members to familiarise themselves with new TB rules before July 1st

2nd May 2012

Region: National

NBA encourages members to familiarise themselves with new TB rules before July 1st.

A raft of new and revised TB rules for England will be coming in on July 1st, and the National Beef Association (NBA) is encouraging its members to judge potential businesses impacts now, rather than waiting until the summer.

Bill Harper, NBA TB Committee Chairman, says: “The news rules cover a wide range of issues and are really going to hurt some businesses. But unlike the changes to the restocking rules in late January, these have been announced in advance and at least farmers have a window of opportunity to prepare themselves and make changes if appropriate or necessary.”

The changes affect England only and involve some new rules, as well as tightening up/clarification of others. They fall broadly into three categories – compensation, pre-movement testing and CTS Links and SOAs. The wide range of changes means some business practices will be affected more than others, which is why the NBA is urging farmers to look at the detail and assess if it will specifically affect them or if exemptions apply to their situation.

Mr Harper says: “For example, I know some farmers who will be hugely alarmed by the cuts to compensation rates for overdue tests, when they have legitimately sought an extension in the past for ‘intelligent testing’. This is where they ask to delay their test until cattle are housed and contact with TB-infected wildlife is limited, because it is more sensible to delay a July/August test to November than cattle picking up infection just after a summer-timed annual test and potentially not being recognised until 12 months later.

“But we have been reassured by Defra that the option is still there to discuss re-arranging a routine test date with your local AHVLA office, who will take into consideration all the circumstances. This is just one example of why farmers need to look at the forthcoming changes now, to make sure they understand them and adapt accordingly.

“It’s not going to be easy, but it may well be a case of ‘forewarned is forearmed’ for some producers. Certainly those operating SOAs in areas of different risk will be hit hard, so they need to prepare now for the fact they are going to have to pre-movement test in the future. They have our sympathy that the rules affect them so directly and painfully, but Defra is anxious to stop TB moving to low risk areas.”

For detail on the rule changes:-

TB INFORMATION NOTE 01~2012.doc – compensation changes
TB INFORMATION NOTE 02~2012.doc – PMT exemption changes
TB INFORMATION NOTE 03~2012.doc - CTS links and SOA changes

For more information contact:

Bill Harper, NBA TB Committee Chairman 07831 099182
Joanne Pugh , NBA Assistant Director  01772 734707 or 07579 009648