To control the risk of spreading bovine TB, only limited and controlled movements onto and off TB-restricted holdings are allowed under licence issued by APHA

Applying for a licence

When you need a licence, you must complete a TB204 application form and return it to APHA as detailed on the form.

APHA need a minimum of five working days to process licence requests, and this can increase during busy periods. It is important to provide as much notice as possible when applying for a licence.

Applications for moving animals to a dedicated TB market (orange market) have a strict cut-off date which is five working days before the market takes place.

In order to assess whether a licence request can be approved, APHA need to have sufficient information to carry out a risk assessment of the proposed movement.

APHA will assess the licence request and contact the applicant if the licence cannot be approved, otherwise a licence will be sent by the preferred method as indicated on the application form. Occasionally it may be necessary for APHA to request further information from the applicant and/or organise a visit to the premises by APHA staff to inform the decision.  

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Moving cattle onto a TB-restricted holding

TB restrictions prevent movements of cattle onto a TB-restricted holding except under licence. However, these movements must meet the following criteria:

  • No movements of cattle onto a TB-restricted holding are permitted prior to completion of the first short interval test (SIT). The reason for this is that, in many cases, the true extent and severity of a new TB breakdown will not become apparent until completion of the first SIT. Therefore, the risk for any incoming cattle cannot be fully assessed until the results of this test are available to APHA
  • No movements of cattle onto a TB-restricted holding are permitted when there are reactors on farm awaiting removal
  • If TB testing is overdue then no movements of cattle onto a TB-restricted holding are permitted

You should carefully consider the implications before moving animals onto your farm whilst under TB restrictions. A 50% reduction in compensation is applied for animals moved into a TB breakdown herd that are subsequently removed as TB reactors (or direct contacts) before the herd regains officially TB free (OTF) status. See the Compensation section for further information.

Moving cattle off a TB-restricted holding

TB restrictions prevent movements of cattle off a TB-restricted holding except under licence issued by APHA.

  • No movements of cattle off a TB-restricted holding are permitted when there are reactors on farm (except movements directly to slaughter, under licence from APHA)
  • No movements of cattle off a-TB restricted holding are permitted prior to completion of the first SIT, except movements directly to slaughter, to an Approved Finishing Unit (AFU) or to slaughter via a TB collection or orange market. The reason for this is that in many cases, the true extent and severity of a new TB breakdown will not become apparent until completion of the first SIT. Therefore, the risk posed by cattle moving off cannot be fully assessed until the results of this test are available to APHA
  • If TB testing is overdue then no movements of cattle off a TB-restricted holding are permitted (except movements directly to slaughter in England)
  • Movements of cattle directly to slaughter are permitted under a general or specific licence
  • Farmers can apply to APHA for a licence to move cattle off a TB-restricted holding, however they can only move to certain destinations e.g. TB dedicated sale (orange market), AFU, TB Isolation Unit or another TB-restricted farm
  • Movements of cattle from a TB-restricted holding onto another TB-restricted holding will generally only be considered where the destination herd is due to have at least two SITs at severe interpretation. For more information about this measure, read the article on the TB hub
  • Any cattle that have been skin or blood tested for TB and are awaiting results cannot be moved off a TB-restricted holding

Cattle moving off a TB-restricted holding must have passed a TB test within a certain time frame depending on the type of destination.   Options for movement of cattle off a TB-restricted holding under licence are summarised below:  

Destination TB Testing requirement Types of cattle
Approved Finishing Unit (AFU)

Clear test within 90 days of movement, with the exception of calves under 42 days of age at the time of movement

 

Calves (rearing AFUs)  

Stores and culls (finishing AFUs)  

TB Isolation Unit (TBIU)

Clear test within 30 days of movement, with the exception of calves under 42 days of age at the time of movement.

 

All types (particularly useful for dairy calves)  

A TBIU can only source cattle from a single herd  

TB dedicated sale (orange market)

Clear test within 90 days of movement, with the exception of calves under 42 days of age at the time of movement.  

 

All types
TB approved slaughter gathering (‘red market’)

Clear test within 90 days of movement, with the exception of calves under 42 days of age at the time of movement  

 

All types
TB-restricted holding

Clear test within 30 days of movement  

 

All types
Direct to slaughter No test required. Cattle must not be reactors, IRs or DCs (these need a separate specific licence) All types

 

Movements between two TB-restricted holdings

Cattle keepers applying to APHA for a licence to move animals from a TB-restricted holding onto another TB-restricted holding must be able to satisfy the following requirements;  

  • The destination holding must be due at least two SITs at severe interpretation at the time of the move
  • The date of the next SIT for the animals to be moved at the origin herd must fall within the existing testing window of the destination herd
  • The animals moving on must have a minimum of two clear SITs at severe interpretation before achieving OTF status (unless they are under 42 days of age at the time of the initial SIT, in which case they would only need to be included in a single SIT i.e. the herd’s second)
  • The ‘clearing test’ (last test prior to TB restrictions being lifted) at the destination holding must include all the animals that moved on, and must be a minimum of 120 days from the date of the last movement of TB-restricted animals onto the holding

 

Movement of bovine carcases from your holding whilst under TB restrictions

If an inconclusive reactor (IR), direct contact (DC) or reactor dies or has to be slaughtered on your farm for welfare reasons, you must inform APHA. You do not need a licence to move the carcase but you must tell APHA before moving it as they may wish to carry out a post-mortem inspection.  

Remember:

  • Never wait to contact APHA before arranging to have an animal slaughtered if the delay puts the animal’s welfare at risk
  • You will not get compensation for reactors, IRs and DCs that die on your farm before they are due to be slaughtered

If clear testing cattle die on farm whilst under TB restrictions, you don’t need to tell APHA and you can dispose of them as for all other fallen stock. In addition to these TB requirements, other conditions must be complied with when removing fallen stock. For more information visit GOV.UK.  Details of the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) can be found on their website.  

nfsco

Further information on approved animal by-product plants is available from APHA or at GOV.UK  

Co-located animals

Farmed, non-bovine species such as South American camelids, goats, farmed deer, pigs and sheep are susceptible to TB and subject to statutory TB controls. If possible they should be located and managed separately from cattle to avoid any potential transmission of TB between species. Keepers should be aware that separate management of co-located non-bovines does not necessarily guarantee that TB restrictions and testing will not be applied to them in the event of a TB breakdown in cattle. For more information on TB in non-bovine species, visit our non-bovine section on the TB Hub.

Alpacas