CHeCS bTB Herd Accreditation

The CHeCS bovine TB Herd Accreditation programme is designed to help you reduce the risk of bTB in your herd

This industry-led cattle health programme to evaluate risk and recognise farmers who step up biosecurity to help control bovine TB was launched in November 2016.

CHeCS bTB Herd Accreditation is a voluntary scheme which has been welcomed by Defra and the Welsh Government. Working with the herd vet and through health schemes, a herd’s ‘score’ improves every year it is free from a bTB breakdown, awarding a status of 0-10 to correspond with the number of years.

As well as reducing risk of bTB infection, the health schemes present informed purchasing opportunities. In particular, it can benefit farmers selling cattle from regions with a high risk of the disease or who wish to minimise exposure from bought-in animals. It can also provide recognition for a farmer’s efforts to complement Government and industry strategies to control infection.

More information is available on the CHeCS website where the handbook can be downloaded. Farmers should discuss joining with their vet then contact one of the participating CHeCS-accredited health schemes listed on the website. The application form includes a privacy agreement to allow the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to send test data automatically to the health scheme, and a declaration from the herd vet. After the form is sent back, a starting score will be awarded.

How to use the CHeCS bTB Herd Accreditation programme when buying cattle:

  • Any CHeCS bTb Accredited herd will be implementing additional biosecurity to control disease, so see if there is a declaration available at the point of sale
  • If the selling herd is CHeCS accredited, the greater the score, the greater the number of years the herd has been TB-free
  • If your herd is registered to an accredited bTB health scheme, any added animals should be placed in quarantine before their post-movement skin test is conducted 60-120 days after arrival. If they become TB test reactors, they will not affect the CHeCS bTB status of your herd.

How to use the CHeCS bTB Herd Accreditation scheme to minimise the risk of bTB:

  • Work with your herd vet to develop a bTB-specific herd health plan and introduce additional biosecurity measures
  • Implementing the additional testing and biosecurity measures required by CHeCS, in time, should improve your herd’s resilience to bTB
  • A CHeCS accredited health scheme for bTB may be especially useful if you are in an area where efforts are being made to control the reservoir of infection in wildlife.

Visit the CHeCS website for more details