Pre-sale herd check test for four yearly testing herds in England

A voluntary government-funded TB test was introduced on 6 April 2016 for cattle keepers in England with herds on four-yearly surveillance testing who are planning to sell all or part of their herd.

This pre-sale herd check test supports the TB eradication strategy in the Low Risk Area of England by addressing the specific TB risk and possible impact on receiving farms posed by sales of cattle from herds that have not been recently tested. 

White cow - Bovine TB

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a government-funded pre-sale check test, the seller and their holding/herd must meet the following criteria:

  • the premises must not be under TB restrictions
  • the herd must be on a four-yearly TB testing regime
  • the proposed sale must consist of 20 or more animals
  • the herd must not have been TB tested in the last 12 months
  • the sale must include any of the following types of animal: breeding bulls, in-calf females or cows for breeding, dairy heifers or cows greater than 15 months old

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you should contact the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 03000 200 301 to request a test. An eligibility assessment will be completed and the test will be arranged. 

Pre-sale herd check test

  • The whole herd will need to be tested, excluding calves under 42 days old.
  • You will have three months to complete the test in addition to the one month notice required to arrange the test.
  • If TB reactors or inconclusive reactors are identified at the pre-sale check test, movement restrictions will be applied and the planned sale may have to be postponed.
  • If the results of the test are negative, the cattle sale can proceed and any animals that remain on the seller’s holding will be marked forward for a routine herd test in 48 months.