Part A: About this consultation
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 bTB 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; and
- 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.
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 and 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.
Responding to this Consultation
We are inviting responses to this consultation by 1st August 2022. This consultation will run from 9th May 2022 until 1st August 2022, which is a period of 12 weeks.
Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation
platform, Citizen Space. You view and respond to this consultation online at
https://consult.gov.scot/agriculture-and-rural-economy/bovinetb-the-tuberculosis-scotland-order. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 1st August 2022.
If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete the Respondent Information Form and return along with your response to:
Bovine TB Consultation
Animal Health & Welfare
P Spur, Saughton House
Edinburgh EH11 3XD
Or send this by email to: BovineTB.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scottish Government consultation process
Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.
You can find all our consultations online: http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.
Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.
Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including other available information and research evidence.
Handling your response
If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the About You page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to be published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document.
Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.
How to make an enquiry
The Scottish Government's Animal Health & Welfare Division, Disease Control Team is responsible for this consultation. If you have any queries about this consultation please contact the Scottish Government Animal Health & Welfare Disease Control Team at: BovineTB.email@example.com
Comments and complaints
You may provide any comments on your experience of the consultation as a part of the consultation questions. Alternatively you may also send any comments that you may have about how this consultation exercise has been conducted to BovineTB.firstname.lastname@example.org
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