Ark Veterinary Centre

TB or not TB

Jan 11, 2021

TB testing can be a laborious job for all involved, luckily in Scotland we only have to perform routine herd tests once every four years.

In recent times we have had some TB breakdowns in our area resulting in more testing. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions in the practice: Can I book my TB test in for tomorrow? Where we always endeavour to cater to our clients, we are required by the APHA to submit a date at least two weeks prior to your test. You should be contacted by the practice at the start of your testing window to arrange a date. I don’t want to run every cow through the crush, it will take forever, can we test them through the parlour or in a race? No. It is the client’s legal requirement to gather and safely restrain cattle in an appropriate crush or yolk where the testing area (mid neck) is easily accessible by the vet. If you do not have appropriate facilities it is advised that a crush is hired. Each animal must be identified, its hair clipped, skin measured and injected with tuberculin– performing this through a parlour or in a race is not appropriate. Do I need to get someone to help with the paperwork? Yes. If you cannot provide someone to help with the paperwork, please let us know as we can help arrange this for you. I want to vaccinate, worm and bolus the cows as they come through the crush– is this okay? APHA recommends that no routine vaccinations, worming treatments or boluses must not be given during the test, not only does this slow down the test considerably it can invariably affect the result of the test. If you feel the treatments are absolutely necessary then they can be given at the second visit but please speak to the attending vet about this. TB OR NOT TB I have already printed out a list of the animals on the farm– can I just tick them off of my list as we go? The paperwork sent to us by the APHA is a legal document which must be filled out on both days of the test and kept by us on file for at least three years. Paperwork printed off from the client’s computer system is not adequate. On the second day of the test– do we need to run all of the cows back through the crush again? Yes. This is a legal requirement. On the second day of the test each animals neck must be palpated by the attending vet to assess for any changes in skin thickness and any changes noted on the paperwork.