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HomeBeefNew TB testing rules: Simple guide to address widespread confusion
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New TB testing rules: Simple guide to address widespread confusion

February 1st, 2023, saw the roll-out of the first phase of new bovine TB testing requirements in Ireland in a bid to reduce the level of transmissible disease in animals, including bovines.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine agreed to introduce new mandatory TB testing requirements on a “phased basis” in line with the EU Animal Health Law Regulations 2016\429.

Over the past number of weeks, That’s Farming has been inundated with queries from readers in relation to the new rules, which have sparked widespread confusion among some farmers.

Initially, the requirements under phase one, which came into effect on the above date, are that:

Cows of all ages and males over the age of 36 months that are moving farm to farm or through a mart must be:

  • TB tested in the last six months and
  • Moving from a herd that has been tested in the last six months.

If they do not fulfil both these requirements, they must then be tested:

  • Either within the 30 days prior to movement or;
  • Within 30 days after movement into the new herd.

Animals requiring a post-movement test

According to the DAFM, animals requiring a post-movement test:

  • Will be restricted immediately to the herd into which they have moved;
  • Will require a 30-day post-movement test;
  • Animals may be private tested or tested as part of other herd-level tests;
  • If not tested, the herd will be restricted after 30 days;
  • If, after another 60 days (90 days in total) and the animals are still not tested, a full herd test will be scheduled;
  • According to the DAFM, this allows the opportunity for cull cows to be purchased, fed and slaughtered without a 90-day window without the farmers incurring the cost of testing.


  • The DAFM states that these requirements do not apply to animals moving directly to slaughter or directly to controlled finishing units (CFUs).

Previous article on That’s Farming with commentary from Minister McConalogue on TB testing rules.

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