The agreement requires information from the vet on the non-validated test(s) to be used and the plan for using them. It provides the keeper with an opportunity to:
use a novel test(s) to try to identify high risk animals missed by other tests, manage their herds, without having to remove animals positive to the test immediately – e.g. in isolated groups to the end of lactation and to enable cohorts of infected animals to be potentially identified by age, or management. If test positive animals remain after a specified period, they must undergo a high sensitivity testing regime and if positive will be removed with compensation.
The industry benefit for test developers is to be able to gather increased data on field application of their test.
A validated test is a test, whose test validation data has been accepted as meeting international standards by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
A “relevant test” means –
(a) a skin test; or
(b) any other diagnostic test for tuberculosis approved by the Welsh Ministers;
The Enferplex Bovine TB antibody (Serum) test is a validated test, but is not considered a “relevant test” in Wales. There is currently a separate pilot, managed by a private veterinary surgeon in Pembrokeshire, MV Diagnostics and the Welsh Government for up to 10 Officially TB Free herds, or herds in a TB breakdown to privately use this test under similar criteria to those for non-validated tests. For more details contact BovineTB@gov.wales.