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Informed purchasing

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Ask for information about the disease history of an animal and the herd it comes from before you buy.

TB can have a significant economic and welfare impact on your farm. Bought-in cattle may introduce infection into your herd. You can reduce this risk by asking for information about the testing and disease history of an animal and the herd it comes from.

Protect your herd from TB – ask for more information

Before you buy cattle, ask the seller or auctioneer the following questions:

  • have the animal(s) been pre-movement tested? If yes, when?
  • when did the herd last have a whole herd test?
  • has the herd ever had TB? If yes, how long has it been TB free?
  • is the herd part of the Bovine TB herd health accreditation scheme?

You should also consider the disease situation in the area that the cattle are from. Irrespective of where animals are purchased from it is important to know the TB history of the herd and the disease history of the animal.

Date of Pre-Movement Test (PrMT)

Ideally, cattle should be pre-movement tested. Alternatively, testing animals on arrival in their new herd reduces the risk of infection spreading.

Date of the last whole herd test

Every animal offered for sale to a TB-free herd should have tested negative for TB. In Wales, every cattle herd must be tested at least once a year. However, cattle from other parts of the UK may not have been tested for up to four years. Knowing a herd has recently tested negative may provide you with extra reassurance that it is truly TB-free.

How long the herd has been TB free

Buying cattle from herds with a history of the disease represents more of a risk than buying cattle from herds that have never had TB. Herds with a history of TB are around three times more likely to have a new incident than herds with no history of the disease.

Precautions you can take

If you think the cattle you are buying are a risk, there are precautions you can take:


TB is most likely to spread between infected and uninfected animals during periods of close contact, particularly when cattle are housed. Keeping any new animal separate from the herd until it has tested clear for TB will reduce the opportunity for the disease to spread.

Post-movement testing

Before you introduce any new animal to the rest of your herd, particularly from areas where herds are not annually tested, it is good practice for it to be post-movement tested. This will help to make sure that it has not developed TB since its last test and reduce the risk of the disease spreading to the rest of the herd. Post-movement tests can be arranged through your private vet.

Grant funded markets and informed purchasing

In line with the Welsh Government’s policies around Informed Purchasing a number of markets in Wales have been given financial support to improve their information screens, and are encouraging farmers to share and ask for: 

  • date of the PrMT
  • date of the last herd test
  • date the herd became TB-free (if applicable)

This information is on the TB Test Certificate (TB52c).

Markets included in the scheme are:


South & Mid











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