New terms of appointment for Private Veterinary Practitioners involved in TB testing

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The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has announced changes to the appointment of Private Veterinary Practitioners (PVPs) who carry out TB testing and to animal movement controls during testing.

PVPs are currently appointed as Veterinary Inspectors under the Diseases of Animals (NI) Order 1981. This gives PVPs legal powers which they do not require when conducting TB testing.

The amending legislation will require that PVPs be appointed as “Approved Veterinary Surgeons”. PVPs who are currently Veterinary Inspectors will shortly receive a letter informing them of the change in their appointment status.

DARD-employed vets will continue to be Veterinary Inspectors and will be able to use the full range of legal powers available to them, such as serving cattle movement restriction notices where they are required.

The amending legislation will also clarify when the existing restriction on moving animals during a herd TB test comes to an end. PVPs will advise herdowners of the end of the test when all animals provide negative readings. When animals with inconclusive or reactor readings are disclosed an advisory document will be issued by PVPs to herdkeepers to explain that herd test movement restrictions will continue until DARD interprets the results of test and applies specific movement controls.