Coronavirus advice for livestock keepers on statutory testing of animals

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What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has published advice for livestock keepers on statutory testing of animals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This guidance aims to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission while still complying with the on-going need to protect animal health and welfare. It also advises on what will happen if testing cannot be carried out due to coronavirus restrictions.

It also includes links to additional guidance for those responsible for livestock and other animals.

Provided that you can practise safe social distancing, apply hygiene and sanitation measures and comply with all other standard health and safety requirements, statutory testing should continue for now. This includes: 

  • TB (4 yearly herd tests, post import and breakdown investigation)
  • BVD annual herd screening (by check test, testing all calves or testing all animals)
  • Anthrax inquiries
  • Brucella (post import and abortion reports)
  • TSE (post mortem sampling)
  • Salmonella testing (poultry flocks)

If sampling/testing is impossible due to COVID-19 constraints, herds will be identified as overdue for the statutory test. If you are unable to carry out a test please document the reason why in case of future audit. The usual restrictions will apply to herds with overdue TB and BVD testing. These will be reversed as soon as required testing is completed.

Cattle can move direct to an abattoir regardless of their BVD status. The usual enforcement procedures will be modified or waived as appropriate.

Am I eligible?

Anyone can use this service.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Anyone who keeps livestock in Scotland.

Important information

This guidance will be updated as necessary as the coronavirus situation develops.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

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