Several veterinary practices in England are now looking to recruit people from across the agricultural community to help support them in fulfilling their cattle TB testing responsibilities.
These job opportunities are being publicised following approval by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) last November to allow paraprofessional staff to carry out TB testing in England, following appropriate training to become an Approved Tuberculin Tester (ATT).
"ATTs may be employed and equipped by a veterinary practice and paid a salary or wages as part of a vet practice team," explained James Allcock from UK Farmcare – a company that helps to manage government TB testing in England.
Alternatively, ATTs may also choose to access the training and then deliver the service as a self-employed person. In this situation they must always liaise closely with the farmer’s regular vet.
Allcock said that anyone interested in becoming an ATT must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid UK driving licence and passport, possess a clean criminal record and then be approved by the APHA.
"There are also certain minimum educational requirements (at least three graded GCSEs or equivalent in english, maths and a science or food production subject).
"Applicants also need to be able to demonstrate at least six months cattle handling experience," he added.
Following a successful ‘Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)’ check, applicants must find a veterinary practice to provide the direct supervision they need during the practical phase of the training.
UK Farmcare can provide support with this if candidates don’t currently have contact with a suitable livestock veterinary practice in their local area of England.
The next step is to access the online training course and then pass a test that assesses understanding.
Veterinary practices sponsoring ATT applicants must already provide TB testing services for both beef and dairy cattle – and have enough TB testing vets available to allow one to be able to supervise training on a one-to-one basis for a few weeks.