Welsh Government
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Minister urges cattle owners to prepare for new rules that will help eradicate Bovine TB in Wales

The Minister for Natural Resources, Alun Davies, is reminding farmers that, as part of the Welsh Government’s efforts to eradicate bovine TB, cattle moving within Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs) will not be exempt from pre-movement testing from 30 September 2014.

Ending the automatic exemption from pre-movement testing for bovine TB for cattle moving within SOAs will help to reduce the risk of TB spreading.

The European Commission requested this change as part of the UK’s ongoing TB Eradication Plan. Adhering to the new rules enables Wales to receive its share of the €31 million provisionally awarded to the UK to help it tackle the disease.  

Such changes mean that cattle keepers need to consider the implications of moving animals to summer grazing because they are likely to need to have a pre-movement test before they can return to the main holding in the autumn.

Minister for Natural Resources and food, Alun Davies, said:

“Tackling bovine TB in Wales requires a long-term approach which includes a number of different measures and relies upon the support and co-operation of all Welsh farmers.

“Since last November we have not accepting new SOA applications. By ending automatic exemptions within SOAs, we are further reducing the risk of TB spreading across Wales by tightening-up this loophole which allows cattle to be moved untested between two pieces of land that may be miles apart.”

The Welsh Government is working with Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) and DEFRA colleagues to fully understand what impact the changes will mean to cattle keepers and are in discussions with industry representatives to keep disruption to a minimum.  

This work is running in parallel to the ongoing County Parish Holdings project which is looking to abolish SOAs in the longer term as recommended in the Working Smarter Report that is working to reduce red tape within the agricultural industry.

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