About Bovine TB
Testing & movements
This Q&A explains the pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements for cattle from England moving to agricultural shows in other parts of England, Wales and Scotland. Due to differences in legislation within GB, if you are not based in England, please check the relevant guidance for the TB testing rules for cattle on holdings in Wales and Scotland.
In addition to carrying out any pre- and/or post-movement TB testing, cattle keepers must also abide by standstill rules which apply for cattle returning from shows. For more information visit GOV.UK.
For a summary of the statutory pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements for cattle from England moving to shows, see our quick guide.
Q1. What is an agricultural show?An agricultural show is defined as a gathering of livestock for showing, sale or exhibition, where the primary purpose is showing the animals. Shows are licensed by APHA in England under the Animal Gatherings Order (England) 2010.
Q2. Why are TB controls on movements of cattle to and from shows necessary?Cattle visiting shows present a risk for bovine TB spread. Bovine TB can spread between cattle at shows either directly, through very close or nose-to-nose contact, or indirectly via contaminated shared equipment and environment. The risk is likely to be higher in an enclosed space (a marquee for example) or where cattle from different herds are kept on the showground for extended periods of time. To reduce this risk, statutory pre-and post-movement TB testing rules apply for movements of cattle to and from shows, unless specific exemptions apply.
Q3. Are there exemptions from pre- and post-movement testing of cattle attending shows?Yes. Show organisers can submit a self-declaration to APHA stating that they are exempt from the requirement for pre- and post-movement testing of cattle attending their show. To do so they must meet certain criteria (see Q5). A show that does not meet the criteria is referred to as a “non-exempt” show and, depending on the TB surveillance testing frequency of their herd of origin, cattle may need to be pre- and/or post movement tested to attend.
Q4. What are the statutory requirements for pre and post-movement TB testing of cattle moving from holdings in England to and from shows in England, Scotland and Wales?Compulsory pre- and post-movement testing rules apply for cattle from certain herds moved to and from shows. The following table summarises the requirements for cattle from England moving to and from non-exempt shows.
Location of origin herd (England)
Location of show
Pre-movement testing required to move to show?
Post-movement testing required on return from show?
No for animals from herds on four-yearly surveillance testing
Yes for animals from herds on annual or more frequent surveillance testing*
Edge Area and HRA
Yes within 60-120 days of return to the holding of origin**
No for animals from herds on four-yearly surveillance testing
Edge and HRA
Notes1. Cattle under 42 days old are not eligible for pre-movement testing.2. The information in the table relates to statutory pre- and post-movement testing requirements. Please note that some shows require pre-movement testing even if it is not compulsory under the legislation, therefore exhibitors are advised to check with the show organiser well in advance of the show. * Cattle herds in the LRA subject to annual or more frequent surveillance testing are those that regularly source cattle from higher TB risk areas, raw milk producers, or herds subject to radial testing.** Animals subject to compulsory post-movement testing must not move off the destination holding in the LRA until the test is completed with a negative result, unless transported to slaughter (directly or via a slaughter gathering), or to a Licensed Finishing Unit or Approved Finishing Unit.
Q5. Are there exemptions from pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements for cattle attending shows?Yes. Exemptions include movements of cattle which meet the following criteria:
If any cattle are to be kept at the show location for a period which exceeds 24 hours, all eligible cattle moving to that show will be subject to pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements as applicable.
Q6. Are shows automatically exempt from pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements, or do they need to apply?Show organisers must either submit a self-declaration to APHA stating that cattle attending their show are exempt from pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements, or:
Shows that are able to declare cattle attending their show exempt from pre- and/or post-testing requirements are those where:
Show organisers in England will need to:
Contact details for CSC ExeterTelephone: 03000 200 301 and choose the relevant options for APHA
Email: [email protected]
Postal address: Pre-movement Testing Monitoring Unit, Animal & Plant Health Agency, Isca Building, Manley House, Kestrel Way, Exeter, EX2 7LQ
Q7. How will I know if I need to pre-movement test my cattle before taking them to shows in England, Scotland or Wales, and whether they require post-movement testing on their return? Ultimately it is the keeper’s responsibility to ensure that statutory pre- and post-movement TB testing requirements are met. Guidance on statutory pre-and post-movement testing requirements for cattle is available on GOV.UK. The show organiser will also be able to advise you on the specific requirements for their show and whether exemptions apply.
Q8. Do I need to keep evidence of cattle movements to/from shows that are exempt from pre- and/or post-movement testing?Yes, you should keep documentary evidence of cattle that you move under these exemptions for at least three years. A declaration from the show that it is eligible for exemption from pre- and/or post-movement TB testing requirements would be considered relevant evidence. You may be asked for copies of relevant evidence by those who purchase your cattle or in the event of enforcement action.
Q9. How long is a pre-movement TB test valid for and when is it valid from?A negative pre-movement TB test result is valid for 60 days from the date of injection of tuberculins.
Q10. Can I take cattle to multiple shows under the same pre-movement test? Yes. Animals can be moved to more than one show during the post-test period, provided that the last movement to the show (or to slaughter if applicable) is completed within 60 days of the date of injection of tuberculins. You should not book a TB test to take place within 60 days of completion of the previous TB test as this will not be regarded as an authorised test. If cattle are attending multiple shows throughout the season, remember that standstill requirements also apply. Cattle returning home from a show will trigger a six-day standstill for all cattle on the holding.
Q11. My cattle have returned to the LRA from a show and require post-movement testing. Can they go to other shows before completion of a post-movement test? No. The animals cannot move off the holding (except to slaughter or for veterinary treatment) until a post-movement test has been completed within 60-120 days with a negative result. LRA cattle keepers who wish to send stock to multiple shows held in other parts of England or Wales may defer the post-movement test by keeping their animals outside of the LRA between shows.
Q12. For non-exempt shows, does the pre-movement test used to move cattle to the show need to be valid to cover the movement back to the holding of origin? No, not in England. The pre-movement test carried out to allow an animal to move to a show only needs to be valid for that movement and the 60-day validity window can expire whilst at the show. In the case of attending multiple shows using the same pre-movement test, the test would need to be valid for the duration of all movements on to all the shows. In Wales, the pre-movement test must cover the movement onto the show and off the show (unless an exemption applies e.g. off to slaughter).
In addition to pre- and post-movement TB testing, best practice biosecurity reduces the risk of bovine TB and other infectious diseases spreading between animals attending shows. Good management practices and hygiene can help you achieve best practice. Also bear in mind that standstill restrictions apply when returning from shows. For more information visit GOV.UK.
When at the show
When leaving the show
When returning home