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1. Inconclusive Reactors (IR) 3 year rule, what’s happening?

As of 17th January 2022 all Officially TB Free (OTF) herds in Wales in which only IRs are disclosed will remain restricted until the retest of IRs.

2. What’s changing?

All OTF herds in Wales in which only IRs are disclosed will remain restricted until the retest of IRs, when either:

  • IRs are retested with negative results and herd and individual movement restrictions are lifted, or
  • one or more of the IRs become reactors and/or IRs for a second time (in which case they will also be considered as reactors) and the OTF status of the herd becomes withdrawn (Officially TB Free Withdrawn).

3. Why is this change being introduced?

The rationale and expected benefits of this change are:
a)    studies in both Ireland and England have identified that standard IRs, in IR only herd incidents, are at higher risk of becoming reactors subsequently than clear testing animals
b)    it prevents clear testing cattle from being moved out of the herd at a time when there is a higher risk of the herd losing OTF status in the near future
c)    it ensures higher risk animals that would become IRs in the event of a TB breakdown, triggered at the IR retest, cannot move off the premises.

4. How will these changes be applied?

For tests in OTF herds in Wales with a TT2 date (the last date of the testing window) on or after 17 January 2022 that disclose only IRs (with no reactors), OVs (official veterinarians) should inform cattle keepers that the herd is automatically under movement restrictions and that these restrictions will not be removed at least until the IRs are retested with negative results.

This also applies to any test where IRs are disclosed in a part test with TT2 date before 17th January but the final part test is completed on or after 17th January.

5. How will restrictions be applied, if I have more than one holding number (CPH) associated with my herd?

All additional permanent and temporary CPHs belonging to the same business enterprise will be restricted with different TB02 restriction notices (notice prohibiting movement of animals). Licences from Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will be required to move cattle between them. These moves will need to take place within 30 days of the animal’s TB test. 50% compensation reduction will apply to any animals moved under licence and later culled for TB control purposes in the event that an IR(s) fails the retest.