To reduce the risk of any loss or corruption of data as Northern Ireland (NI) transitions over to a new animal disease and traceability database, there will be very limited TB testing taking place for three weeks from the end of May 2023.

The latest stage of DAERA’s new NI Food Animal Information System (NIFAIS), which is the replacement for APHIS, is set to launch on Monday 12 June 2023 and involves a complex process that will open up the system to herdkeepers, marts, abattoirs and private vets.

During the week commencing 29 May 2023, the only testing allowed will be reactor herd tests on the Monday.

The following week, there will be no testing, while in the week commencing 12 June 2023, reactor herd testing can resume from the Tuesday.


According to DAERA, any herd owners with compulsory TB tests falling over these three weeks should contact their private vet to arrange an alternative date.

The Department has also moved test dates for many lateral check tests in advance to minimise the number of herds requiring testing in this period.

Despite the upset to routine testing, DAERA has confirmed that restrictions will still be applied as normal where a test is overdue.

However, if a herd is chosen for a cross compliance inspection, “this testing restriction period will be taken into account in any assessments for breaches,” states the Department.


The changeover to the new system also means there may be a short delay in the removal of TB reactors off farms due to a reduction in the processing of valuations on APHIS and the generation of movement licences.

Animals will still be able to be exported during the three-week period, but exporters should plan ahead to get tests completed in time.

Finally, tag suppliers will not be able to access NIFAIS during the weekend before Monday 12 June, so if tags are required, orders should be done in advance of this date.

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