Sellers of cattle in marts will be able to trade all cattle within the timings of their current annual herd tests, under the new TB regulations coming into effect on 1 February, the Irish Co-Operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has clarified.

The society highlighted that it is only animals that haven’t been tested in the past six months will require "post-movement testing".

ICOS says that if a farmer buys an animal which has not been tested in the past six months they will be notified by the Department of Agriculture.

The Department will inform the farmer directly of any additional post-movement testing requirements.

‘Guaranteed’ sale day

Speaking on the matter, ICOS environment and livestock executive Ray Doyle said: “Farmers are guaranteed their sale day at the mart and there will be no disruption to buying or selling activity caused by the new rules.

“If your herd has been tested in the last six months, including the animal that you are selling, then additional testing will not be necessary.”

Doyle suggested that the majority of animals brought to the marts for sale “satisfy” the required TB testing time intervals and will not need additional testing.

“In time, as buyers and sellers become more familiar with the new regulations, most will be able to time their annual herd tests to remain compliant and to avoid any unnecessary costs arising from standalone or additional testing,” he said.

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