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Changes to Bovine TB herd status from 17 January 2022.

First published:
17 December 2021
Last updated:

Officially TB Free Status Withdrawn (OTFW)

As of 17 January 2022, all new TB breakdowns across Wales, with only two exceptions, will be classified as Officially TB Free Status Withdrawn (OTFW).

The only two exceptions, which will continue to be classified as Officially TB Free Status (OTFS), are:

  1. OTF herds where one or more suspect slaughterhouse case(s) have been disclosed and culture results are still pending.
  2. Breakdown herds where non-homebred animals positive to Interferon-gamma and/or IDEXX antibody testing only (i.e. no skin reactors) have been disclosed and disease has not been confirmed on PME/culture results.

OTFS herds where the breakdown started prior to 15 November will remain OTFS unless any further skin test reactor is disclosed, or epidemiological risk factors apply.

Bovine TB: Officially TB Free Withdrawn by Default: frequently asked questions

Inconclusive Reactors 3 year rule changes

As of 17 January 2022 all OTF herds in Wales in which only Inconclusive Reactors (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IRs for a second time (in which case they will also be considered as reactors) and the OTF status of the herd becomes withdrawn (OTFW).

The rationale and expected benefits of this change are:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Bovine TB: Inconclusive Reactors 3 year rule changes: frequently asked questions

Further guidance

Further guidance is also available: