FUW welcomes private vet involvement in TB testing

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed deputy farming and food minister Rebecca Evans’ announcement that private vets will remain at the heart of TB testing procedures in Wales.

Two “Delivery Partners” have successfully tendered for TB testing in Wales – Menter a Busnes in North Wales and Iechyd Da (Gwledig) Ltd in South Wales.FUW animal health and welfare committee chairman Catherine Nakielny said: “The union is pleased that private vets will remain central to TB testing in Wales. The FUW believes that only private vets have knowledge of the farm business and of the local disease situation.”

Farmers will continue to be responsible for ensuring that TB testing is completed on time but in future they will need to contact their regional Delivery Partner to make the arrangements.Delivery Partners will then be responsible for allocating the actual testing activity through their network of practices and for assuring the quality of the work performed.

Work that has already been assigned to Official Veterinarian (OV) practices under existing arrangements will be completed by those practices but from April 1 all new work will be undertaken by Delivery Partners.When making arrangements for tests, farmers and livestock keepers can express a preference to use a specific veterinary practice from within the Delivery Partners network to undertake their testing, and this preference will be honoured where possible.

Farmers and livestock keepers who would prefer to use a practice that is not part of the Delivery Partners network retain an option to pay for the testing privately.

“The announcement provides certainty to farmers in Wales about the future of TB testing and the continued and critical role of the private vet in the control and eradication of bovine TB,” added Miss Nakielny.

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