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Consider TB When Bull Buying

31 January 2013

NORTHERN IRELAND - Farmers must safeguard against bovine tuberculosis (TB) spread when buying breeding bulls by scrutinising stock and its place of origin, the National Beef Association has urged.

Bill Harper of the NBA TB Committee said “a balanced approach to bull purchasing is required when more counties have been included in annual testing areas as the new county system replaces parish definitions”.

The NBA urge purchasers and vendors to be prepared to have an open discussion regarding the sellers farms TB situation. Key questions that need to be addressed are, has the farm had a TB incident if so, when was the last outbreak and in his area when was the last outbreak, the NBA have suggested.

Much of the country's farms are now under one year TB testing. Therefore the NBA suggest it may be impossible to source the genetics you are looking for, without considering cattle from annual testing areas which may be of less risk than the status indicates.

"Buyers are being told to consider that most bulls are only grazed for their first summer with their dams, after that they are housed with minimal risk of infection from wildlife which is the real method of transfer," added the NBA.

The message is to speak to the bull breeder and find out the whole story of the individual breeders situation and make an informed decision. Contacts: Bill Harper - NBA TB Committee Chairman.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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