Specified diseases in animals
A farmer who suspects that any animal is infected with a specified disease must immediately notify a State Veterinary Service Divisional Veterinary Manager and not move anything from the premises that might spread disease. Further compliance issues may arise.
The specified diseases include:
- African horse sickness
- Brucellosis caused by Brucella melitensis
- Contagious agalactia
- Contagious epidydimitis
- Epizootic Haemorrhagic virus disease
- Equine Infectious Anaemia
- Goat pox
- Lumpy Skin Disease
- Peste des Petits Ruminants
- Rift Valley Fever
- Sheep pox
- Vesicular Stomatitis
Control outbreaks of avian influenza
Birds or a bird carcass suspected of avian influenza must be immediately notified to an Animal Health Divisional Veterinary Manager (DVM).
An affected farmer must:
- keep records showing which birds are alive, infected, dead, born or hatched
- keep records of visitors to those premises (other than trespassers and people using rights of way)
- house poultry and other captive birds, or keep them isolated if a veterinary inspector approves on animal welfare grounds
- take all reasonable steps to minimise the birds’ contact with wild birds, following a veterinary inspector’s instructions
- not move any poultry or other captive birds to or from the premises without a licence from a veterinary inspector
- not remove from the premises any carcass, poultry meat, poultry feed, eggs, utensils, material, waste, droppings, poultry or other captive bird manure, slurry, used litter or anything else which might spread avian influenza without a licence from a veterinary inspector
- not allow movement of people, mammals, vehicles or equipment on or off the premises without a licence from a veterinary inspector
A vet or any other person examining any mammal or carcass or analysing a sample taken from any mammal or carcass must inform the DVM if he suspects influenza of avian origin or antibodies to the disease in the mammal or carcass.
Control of Outbreaks
Movement of animals in an area designated by the Secretary of State as a temporary control area, protection zone or surveillance zone require a licence from an inspector.
An animal or carcass suspected of being infected with bluetongue must be;
- immediately notified
- may not be moved on or off the premises
If the premises are suspected to be infected with bluetongue, a notice can be served requiring that:
- no animal, embryo, ovum or semen leaves or enters the premises
- an inventory of all animals of all species is made detailing the number of dead, the number alive that appear to have bluetongue and the number alive that appear uninfected
- the inventory is kept up to date
- all the animals are kept indoors or as directed by the inspector
- the premises and animals are subject to midge controls
The inventory must be kept for two years.
On confirmation of bluetongue on premises, DEFRA can declare all of the following:
- a control zone (centred on the outbreak point)
- a protection zone
- a surveillance zone
No animal may be moved onto or from premises in the control zone.
A temporary control zone may be established when the bluetongue virus is found. If a zone is established animals may not be moved onto or off premises in a zone without unless a licence from a veterinary inspector.
A pig farmer who suspects that any of his animals is infected with Aujeszky’s disease must immediately notify an Animal Health Divisional Veterinary Manager and not move anything from the premises that might spread disease
If any person fails to comply with any requirements to control or prevent the possible spread of disease, an inspector can enter the premises and take any necessary action. Any expenses incurred can be claimed from the person in default.
A pig farmer who suspects that any of his animals is infected with Classical swine fever (CSF) must immediately notify an Animal Health Divisional Veterinary Manager and not move anything from the premises that might spread disease
A pig farmer who suspects that any of his animals are infected with swine vesicular disease must immediately notify an Animal Health Divisional Veterinary Manager and not move anything from the premises that might spread disease
Further compliance measures will depend on whether the disease is confirmed.
If any person fails to comply with any requirements to control or prevent the possible spread of disease, an inspector can enter the premises and take any necessary action and any expenses incurred can be claimed from the person in default
A farmer who suspects that any of his birds are infected with Newcastle disease must:
- immediately notify an Animal Health Divisional Veterinary Manager and must;
- not move anything from the premises that might spread disease
Further compliance issues will depend upon whether disease is confirmed.
If any person fails to comply with any requirements to control or prevent the possible spread of disease, an inspector can enter the premises and take any necessary action and any expenses incurred can be claimed from the person in default.
Bovine tuberculosis control measures
All cattle may be sold in an exempt market provided they have met the six-day standstill requirement.
Restrictions remain in place for the onward movement of cattle from exempt markets to certain defined destinations. These include onward movement to slaughter, to an approved finishing unit or to an exempt finishing unit.
There are also restrictions in place on the movement of cattle back to the premises of origin from exempt markets. If cattle are sent from a herd that is tested every three to four years to an exempt market but are not offered an acceptable price, they will not be permitted to move them back to their original premises. Cattle from one or two-yearly tested herds are permitted to return to the premises of origin.
Only disinfectant that is approved for use against bovine tuberculosis (TB) may be used. Inspectors have powers to require specified bovine animals to be isolated – pending testing.
Cattle, Goats and Sheep must not be feed with any animal protein or feeding stuff that contains animal protein except (subject to required processing):
- milk, milk-based products and colostrum
- eggs and egg products
- gelatine from non-ruminants
- hydrolysed proteins derived from non-ruminants or from ruminant hides and skins
Farmed animals must not be feed directly or in feeding stuffs, products that contain:
- processed animal protein (including mammalian meat and bonemeal, poultry meal, feather meal, etc)
- gelatine from ruminants
The following “restricted proteins” for feed production are restricted to non-ruminants:
- blood products
- blood meal, only where fed to farmed fish
- dicalcium phosphate and tricalcium phosphate of animal origin (mineral-derived versions are permitted for all livestock and are most commonly used – feed labels not specifying “animal origin” can be taken to be mineral)
The above restricted proteins may be used only under authorisation from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to produce non-ruminant feed, or to use feed products containing restricted proteins on farms where ruminants are present.
Defra registration will be followed by a State Veterinary Service inspection, which will confirm permission to use such products on the farm in line with European Union requirements. There must be adequate separation of feed containing restricted proteins from ruminants and their feed.
Keepers of livestock must:
- notify the Secretary of State – using the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) helpline – of any fallen-stock bovines aged over 24 months
- notify the Secretary of State (using the BCMS helpline) of any fallen stock goats aged over 18 months
- notify the Secretary of State if a bovine animal suspected of being infected with a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) – such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
- notify the Secretary of State if a sheep or goat is suspected of being infected with a TSE
A bovine animal born or reared in the UK before August 1996 must not be sent to a fresh meat slaughterhouse or for export.
Legal Guide Limited, UK Law (An Irish Overview), and Paul McMahon have no liability arising from reliance on anything contained in this article or on this website