News story

APHA offers private blood testing to help diagnose TB in cattle

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is offering private interferon gamma blood tests to diagnose TB under certain conditions.

As part of new cattle measures to help achieve TB freedom, from 6 April farmers in England will be able to submit blood samples for TB testing to an APHA laboratory at their own expense, via a private veterinarian and with prior APHA approval.

The private blood test will be available in a limited number of scenarios outside of the government-funded testing programme, where farmers seek additional assurances as to the TB-free status of their animals.

This will provide additional TB test options to farmers wanting to check and monitor the health of their cattle or those they are planning to purchase.

Cattle not eligible for private blood testing include:

  • Cattle from herds under restriction undergoing government interferon gamma blood testing

  • Skin-test positive and other cattle awaiting slaughter for TB control purposes

  • Animals in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland at the time of testing

  • Herds under restrictions for overdue tuberculin skin tests

  • Cattle that are under 6 months of age

See the APHA Vet Gateway for further information.

Farmers and private veterinarians can also contact their regional APHA office for more information.