Licensed Finishing Units (LFU) are a type of TB unit approved by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). They can only be approved in the Low Risk Area (LRA) of England and the Low and Intermediate TB Areas of Wales.
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, and cattle are housed under biosecure conditions. Cattle in the unit are exempt from post-movement TB testing, providing 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 and Wales
The following general conditions apply to all LFUs in England and Wales.
- Approved for cattle only.
- Not intended for pregnant animals and no breeding should take place within the unit. Contingency must be in place for any calves born unexpectedly in the unit.
- Must be under TB movement restrictions (TB02) at all times. An LFU can only seek to regain OTF status as part of an exit strategy agreed by APHA when it ceases to operate as an LFU.
- 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.
- Must be registered under a unique permanent County Parish Holding (CPH) number.
- The unit cannot have a temporary CPH (tCPH) or Temporary Land Association (TLA) registered against it.
- In England, the default position is that no TB testing of cattle is carried out in LFUs. 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.
- In Wales, cattle in LFUs are routinely TB tested every six months at government expense.
For more details about the specific terms and conditions for LFUs in England and Wales, visit GOV.UK.
Source of cattle
LFUs in England and Wales may source cattle under licence from:
- Multiple OTF holdings in any area of England, Scotland and Wales
- ‘Green’ (unrestricted) markets
- Imported cattle subject to compliance with specific import requirements
Destination of cattle
Cattle within an LFU in England and Wales can only move off under licence:
- Directly to a slaughterhouse in England and Wales
- To a slaughterhouse via an approved slaughter gathering for TB-restricted cattle. Cattle from LFUs in England cannot be sent to an approved slaughter gathering for TB-restricted cattle in Wales
Application for approval of an LFU in England and Wales
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:
- In England, contact APHA using the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 and select the option for APHA and then bovine TB. You can also email email@example.com
- In Wales, contact APHA Wales on 0300 3038268 and reference LFU application help or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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) in England or Rural Payments Wales (RPW) 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.