New legislation bringing certain non-bovine animals under the control of Scotland’s TB regulations have come into force.
Species including alpacas, sheep, goats and farmed deer will now be subject to a regime of TB controls where incidents are disclosed.
The new measures will introduce the following regime of TB controls:
However, the Scottish Government has no plans to introduce a routine TB testing regime for non-bovine animals.
The new powers will only be used where a TB incident is disclosed, for example through post mortem examination or where animals have been traced from a known breakdown herd.
Information about compensation values can be found on the Scottish Government website
There have been no confirmed Scottish outbreaks of bovine TB in these specified non-bovine species since 1992, but they have been frequently disclosed in these species in England and Wales.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said the measures were designed to protect Scotland’s official TB-free status and won support from industry and keepers in a Scottish Government consultation last year.
“Scotland has been officially TB free since 2009 and we want to stay that way," he said.
“The cattle industry is already strictly regulated for TB but those legal powers in Scotland did not specifically cover controls of non-bovine species, except deer, where TB is strongly suspected or confirmed.
“The new measures coming into force today will address that gap and ensure Scotland is fully prepared to deal with any TB outbreaks that might arise.
“The controls will also give us the powers to provide keepers of these non-bovine species with statutory compensation for animals slaughtered as a result of TB.”
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and BVA Scottish Branch welcomed the new legislation, which came into effect at the end of last week ( October 9).
BVA Scottish Branch President Grace Webster said: "We are pleased to see that the Scottish Government has put legislative measures in place to guard against an incursion of the disease into Scotland in line with our advice.
"We know that the disease in South American Camelids has an extensive and aggressive pathology, and has zoonotic potential, so these new controls show the foresight of the Scottish Government in animal welfare and agriculture as well as human health.”