Bovine tuberculosis: consultation analysis

Summary analysis of responses to a consultation on specific proposals relating to bovine tuberculosis, including diagnostic testing, cattle movements, isolation requirements and compensation for unclean cattle.

5. Next Steps

The responses submitted have provided useful feedback on the TB policy changes proposed, which in turn has helped inform the decision making process on how this policy will be developed in Scotland. A decision has been made to take forward 6 of the 8 proposed changes detailed in the consultation document. These will be taken forward in two parts. Firstly one change will be made through an amendment to the current Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order 2007. The remaining amendments will be taken forward next year through a new consolidated Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order 2023.

Changes being implemented in the Amendment Order (2022)

  • 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.

Changes within the Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order 2023 Consolidation

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reduce compensation for unclean cattle at slaughter by 50%.
  • Include requirements for 'isolation' in legislation to ensure that proper isolation of reactors and inconclusive reactors is undertaken.
  • Reduce compensation for reactors or IRs which are not properly isolated.

Changes not being implemented

  • Strengthen the TB isolation requirements by specifying a location for isolation to take place.
  • Include a reduction in compensation where subsequent reactors in the herd are found as a result of a failure to properly isolate a reactor or IR.

Although a small majority (52.63%) agreed with the proposal on specifying a location for isolation, it was considered that this would require a significant amount of resource to action and there wasn't enough of a benefit to change this from the status quo. It was considered that a more appropriate route would be to provide clear guidance on the isolation requirements, in tandem with the clearer statutory definition of isolation which will be provided through the proposal being taken forward to include these requirements in legislation.

In relation to the reduction in compensation for subsequent reactors, it was recognised that the majority of respondents disagreed with this proposal (52.63%) where respondents noted that it would be very difficult to prove that a reactor or IR which had not been isolated was the cause of disease in subsequent animals, and infection could occur for a number of reasons other than this. On balance we tended to agree with these comments that proof of the source would be difficult to establish and as a result this proposal is not being taken forward.



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