Licensed Finishing Units (LFU) are a type of TB unit approved by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in the Low Risk Area (LRA) of England and the Low TB Area of Wales only.
LFUs provide an outlet for the finishing of negative-testing cattle from multiple officially TB free (OTF) herds. LFUs are permanently under TB movement restrictions (TB02), and cattle are housed under biosecure conditions. Cattle in the unit are exempt from post-movement TB testing, providing the statutory pre-movement testing requirements have been met. Animals may be sourced from multiple unrestricted premises in any area of England, Scotland and Wales.
Summary of conditions for approval and operation of LFUs in England
- No grazing is permitted and the unit must be wildlife proof.
- Must be self-contained, isolated from other cattle and have clear and discrete boundaries.
- The unit cannot have a temporary CPH (tCPH) or Temporary Land Association (TLA) registered against it.
- The default position is that no surveillance testing of cattle is carried out in LFUs in England. However, APHA has the option to test in exceptional circumstances, for example if high numbers of carcases with lesions suspicious of TB are identified at slaughter.
- APHA inspection of the premises and records is carried out at least once a year.
Source and destination of cattle
- Cattle can be sourced under a general licence from multiple OTF premises in any area of England, Scotland and Wales.
- Pre-movement testing with negative results must be carried out for cattle moving to LFUs from annual (or more frequent) testing herds.
- Imported cattle can move into LFUs subject to compliance with specific import requirements.
- LFUs are exempt from post-movement testing, providing the statutory pre-movement testing requirements have been met.
- Cattle from LFUs can only move to slaughter either directly or via a TB approved slaughter gathering (red market) in England under a general licence. Cattle do not require a TB test prior to moving off the unit to slaughter.
Application for approval of an LFU in England
To apply to APHA for approval of an LFU, you need to read the guidance notes and complete the application form, both available on GOV.UK. Please make sure that you supply all relevant supporting documents (e.g. site plan), otherwise your application may be delayed. If you need help completing the application form, or require more information, contact APHA using the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
APHA will assess your application form and may need to contact you for additional information. An APHA vet will then visit the unit to check that the terms and conditions of approval and operation can be met. If the visit is satisfactory then APHA will approve the unit. If the terms and conditions cannot be met then APHA will explain the reasons why, and what needs to be done to approve the unit.
A unique CPH number will be issued for the LFU by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) once the unit has been approved. APHA will guide you through the application process and it’s important that you retain all documentation relating to your application.