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Covid-19 guidelines: TB testing cattle

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has issued specific guidance for private veterinary practitioners (PVPs) and farmers when TB testing cattle during the current Covid-19 outbreak.

It updated its TB testing protocol earlier this week in response to the global health pandemic, as reported by us here.


  • People 70 years of age or over should now be cocooned in self-isolation. Therefore, no test should be undertaken with somebody aged over 70 present;
  • Before commencing, the PVP should make a plan with the farmer regarding social distancing – this can include greater use of a head restraining gate or use of a longer guide stick to help to raise heads;
  • Only essential personnel should be allowed to be present during a TB test – No children or non-essential adults should be present at any time during the test;
  • Avoid direct close contact such as handshaking;
  • Use outdoor facilities where practicable;
  • When moving between farms – PVPs should fully and properly disinfect, including handwashing;
  • Do not test an animal where the PVP or farmer form the opinion that social distancing guidelines cannot be complied with.

TB testing continuity

“The Department is continuing to support farmers through this difficult time by prioritising the delivery of essential services for farmers.”

“The Department supports TB testing continuity using safe practices which observe HSE guidelines, to protect trade and minimise TB spread at this time.”

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