New rules come into force later this year on maintaining or establishing a pedigree herd-book.
Pedigree breed societies not on the latest Defra list of bodies approved for maintaining or establishing a herd-book could be unknowingly enforcing non-pedigree TB pay-out rates on their members.
As of November 1, pedigree TB reactors – regardless of any pedigree certificates or society registration – will lose their higher pay-out designation and be faced with lower non-pedigree rates unless societies absent from the list apply to the Defra Farming Animal Genetic Resources (FaNGR) committee for approval.
But Farmers Guardian understands some Defra staff have already been attempting to implement it ahead the November 1 (2018) start date.
Current legislation suggests a pedigree animal is ‘a breeding animal for which a pedigree certificate has been issued by a breeder’s organisation or association […] laying down the criteria for the recognition of breeders’ organisations and associations which maintain or establish herd-books for pure-bred breeding animals of the bovine species’.
Notable absentees include beef breeds such as Salers, Bazadaise and Parthenaise.
Tessa Akers of the British Bazadaise Society said: “The British Bazadaise Society is aware of this new legislation and is in contact with the relevant authorities prior to submitting an application for inclusion in these new listings.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to assure our members that the paperwork to achieve this is in hand.”
Applications to FaNGR can take up to 12 weeks to complete.
A Defra spokesman said: "Bovine TB is one of the greatest animal health threats in the UK and has a devastating impact on our farmers.
“We want to ensure we are doing everything to support the industry on the frontline of tackling this disease and that includes compensation for pedigree cattle that are compulsorily slaughtered.”
Defra said there had been no change of policy but that the Animal and Plant Health Agency was ’making sure breed societies have the appropriate recognition to ensure pedigree compensation is paid correctly’.