The Scottish government has today (Monday, May 9) opened a consultation on proposed amendments to the Tuberculosis (TB) (Scotland) Order 2007.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until its deadline on August 1, 2022, and is open for views on changes to the Order regarding TB testing, cattle movements, isolation requirements and unclean cattle.

The current Tuberculosis (Scotland) Order came into force in 2007 and has since been amended a number of times, most recently to make changes rising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

Now, the following changes are being proposed:

  • Amend the provisions for the application of diagnostic tests, to include a requirement for the prior written permission of Scottish Ministers where non-statutory and private samples are taken with the intention of applying a diagnostic test for TB;
  • End the practice of accepting a clear, final, short interval test (SIT) at the end of all TB breakdowns as a valid pre-movement test. Cattle to be moved out of such herds will need to have a further (bespoke) pre-movement skin test with negative results;
  • Shorten the period during which a pre-movement test with negative results remains valid, from the current 60 days to 30 days after tuberculin injection - to bring domestic pre-movement testing into line with the testing of cattle intended for export and further reduce the risk of cattle contracting TB between the dates of the test and the movement;
  • Reduce compensation for unclean cattle at slaughter; and
  • Tighten the measures relating to the isolation of reactors and inconclusive reactors (IRs).

Anyone is welcome to share their thoughts, however the government would particularly like to hear from: Keepers of cattle or livestock; cattle or livestock associations; veterinary surgeons or associations; agricultural markets and valuers; animal welfare advocates; and anyone else with an interest in the eradication and control of bovine TB in Scotland.

Responses to the consultation can be submitted via the Scottish Government's consultation platform, Citizen Space.