Timely bovine TB testing of cattle herds is a key biosecurity and disease control. Cattle keepers who fail to complete their TB tests on time increase disease risks for all their neighbours. For that reason, we will be putting in place new processes that will see financial reductions applied as a matter of course for farm businesses in England that do not comply with certain TB testing requirements.
The Animal Heath and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) set and carry out statutory bovine TB testing regimes. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) ensures cross compliance standards under EU rules are met. AHVLA also monitor overdue TB testing.
We are enhancing the existing cross compliance process for overdue TB tests. With effect from January 2014 AHVLA will provide RPA with details of all farmers who have not arranged for TB surveillance and check tests to be carried out by the due date.
This will increase the amount of data shared between AHVLA and RPA so that cross compliance rules can be used more effectively to better support the control and eradication of bovine TB.
Using the existing cross compliance rules, RPA will apply a percentage reduction to CAP Scheme payments claimed by those farmers who have not complied with their TB testing requirements. The level of reduction will depend on the length of time the test was overdue before completion.
It is the farmer’s responsibility to notify AHVLA in writing of any extenuating circumstances for failing to complete a test within the prescribed timeframe. This information will be considered as part of the referral process to RPA.