Scottish Government
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New bovine TB controls

Legislation covering specified non-bovine species comes into force.

New legislation to further protect Scotland’s livestock from Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) comes into effect today.

Bovine TB is a serious infectious disease of cattle that can be passed on to other animals. Under the new rules, specified non-bovine animals – including alpaca, sheep and farmed deer - will now be subject to a regime of TB controls where incidents are disclosed.

The measures are designed to protect Scotland’s official TB-free status and won support from industry and keepers in a Scottish Government consultation last year.

Rural Affairs and the Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Scotland has been officially TB free since 2009 and we want to stay that way.

“The cattle industry is already strictly regulated for TB but those legal powers in Scotland did not specifically cover controls of non-bovine species, except deer, where TB is strongly suspected or confirmed.

“The new measures coming into force today will address that gap and ensure Scotland is fully prepared to deal with any TB outbreaks that might arise.

“The controls will also give us the powers to provide keepers of these non-bovine species with statutory compensation for animals slaughtered as a result of TB.”

Notes To Editors

The new measures will introduce the following regime of TB controls:

  • Notification of disease in alpaca, llama, vicuna, guanaco, deer, goats, sheep and pigs, and in the carcases of wild deer, is now required where they are affected or suspected of being affected with TB.
  • Identification requirements for deer, alpaca, llama, vicuna, and guanacos. (Identification requirements for sheep, goats and pigs are already provided in existing identification and movement legislation).
  • A veterinary enquiry, skin or blood testing and sampling of affected or suspected animals to be carried out as necessary in order to establish whether disease is present.
  • Compulsory slaughter of any TB reactors identified - a notice of intended slaughter will be served to the keeper of the animal under section 32 of the Animal Health Act 1981.
  • Where animals are compulsorily slaughtered, compensation will be paid to the keeper
  • Owners who have their animals tested privately (e.g. pre or post movement testing) are required to report any positive or inconclusive results to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) to ensure that the appropriate action can be taken to control any potential spread of disease.
  • There is also a prohibition on vaccination or treatment of animals for TB, without written consent.

The Scottish Government has no plans to introduce a routine TB testing regime for non-bovine animals. The new powers will only be used where a TB incident is disclosed, for example through post mortem examination or where animals have been traced from a known breakdown herd.

Information about compensation values can be found on the Scottish Government website:

While there have been no confirmed Scottish outbreaks of bovine TB in these specified non-bovine species since 1992, tuberculosis outbreaks have been frequently disclosed in these species in England and Wales.


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