TB testing can now resume as normal in Northern Ireland due to the postponement of the planned release of the next stage of DAERA’s new Northern Ireland Food Animal Information System (NIFAIS).
According to a spokesperson for the department, who released a statement on Friday, June 9th, 2023, the three-week reduction in TB testing, which we outlined in this news article, is “immediately revoked”.
To facilitate data migration from the existing Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS) to NIFAIS, DAERA had enforced a reduction of on-farm TB testing from May 29th, 2023, through to June 17th, 2023.
The department outlined that there possibly would be “a short” delay in removing reactors due to a reduction in the processing of valuations on APHIS and the generation of movement licences.
But, following this afternoon’s announcement, on-farm TB testing of all test types can now be arranged with PVPs – private veterinary practitioners or DAERA staff.
Testing and integration
The department has outlined that the latest stage of the new NIFAIS will be postponed for a number of months to “facilitate further testing and integration with industry IT systems”.
The latest stage was to launch on Monday, June 12th, 2023.
Marts, tag suppliers and exporters will now be unaffected by a shut-down of DAERA services over the coming weekend, the statement added.
“DAERA apologises for the inconvenience caused by this delay and will communicate a new launch date to all stakeholders when this is agreed,” the statement continues.
“This will not be before July 2023, as time is needed to introduce a further TB testing pause around the new date,” the spokesperson concluded.
The NIFAIS will replace the existing Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS), which has operated for twenty-five years.
This latest phase, according to DAERA, brings in all remaining bovine functionality and opens the system up to external stakeholders such as herd keepers, markets, abattoirs and private veterinary practitioners (PVPs).
It marks the end of stage 1 of the project for bovine functionality, with stage 2 planned to go live in late 2024, covering other non-bovine species.