A RANGE of new bovine TB measures are coming into force next week.

Farmers are being reminded to prepare for the new arrangements, which mainly include amendments to exemptions covering movements from markets and common land.

Minister for natural resources and food Alun Davies said the changes reflect the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling bovine TB, which is one of the biggest problems facing cattle farmers in Wales.

“There is no quick fix to tackling this disease.

It demands a sustainable and long-term approach that includes a range of different measures including strict biosecurity protocols and cattle movement restrictions.

“The changes to these rules are based on the latest information and guidance,” he said.

The amendments to the exemptions have been made following recommendations from the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office, consideration of veterinary risk assessments, and a consultation on pre-movement testing.

From April 1st, cattle without a valid premovement test will only be allowed to travel from market back to the holding they came from, or direct to slaughter.

Also, cattle can only be moved between the main registered holding and commons where their keeper has grazing rights.

To bring Wales in line with European Union directives, movements of cattle from TB restricted herds, other than to slaughter, must be made within 30 days of a clear TB test.

The licensing of new approved quarantine units is also being suspended in Wales.

Existing units have until the end of the year to destock before they have to close.

A full list of current exemptions is available on the pre-movement testing section of the Welsh Government website wales.gov.uk.