Help available for TB testing - Veterinary Practice
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Help available for TB testing

New job opportunities are now being publicised in the farming media

Veterinary practices can now recruit para-professional staff from across the agricultural community to help carry out TB testing of cattle in England.

New job opportunities are now being publicised in the farming media following approval by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) last November to allow non vets to do this work on farm.

“Following appropriate training to become an ‘Approved Tuberculin Tester (ATT)’, staff may be employed and equipped by a veterinary practice and paid a salary or wages as part of the practice team. Alternatively, ATTs may also choose to access the training and then deliver the service to a practice as a self-employed person,” explains James Allcock from UK Farmcare – a company that helps to manage government TB testing in England.

Mr Allcock says that following the UK’s departure from the EU, many veterinary practices have been finding it difficult to recruit vets to assist with their TB testing obligations. They now have an alternative option.

“This development has been broadly welcomed by many vet practices in England and some have already got to grips with the opportunity. I’ve had reports of vets enjoying the chance to help people develop new skills and saying trained ATTs are relishing the added responsibility. Vets also appreciate the valuable extra manpower,” he adds.

Mr Allcock also points out that where TB testing represents a smaller proportion of a practice’s workload, a local agricultural worker may be able to support a group of practices at busier times, or when vets are off work or unavailable.

Anyone interested in becoming an ATT must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid UK driving licence and passport, possess a clean criminal record and then be approved by the APHA.

“There are also certain minimum educational requirements (at least three graded GCSEs or equivalent in English, Maths and a science or food production subject). Applicants also need to be able to demonstrate at least six months cattle handling experience,” says Mr Allcock.

Following a successful “Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)” check, applicants must find a veterinary practice to provide the direct supervision they need during the practical phase of the training.

“UK Farmcare can provide support with this if candidates don’t currently have contact with a suitable livestock veterinary practice in their local area of England. The next step is to access the online training course and then pass a test that assesses understanding,” says Mr Allcock.

Veterinary practices sponsoring ATT applicants must already provide TB testing services for both beef and dairy cattle – and have enough TB testing vets available to allow one to be able to supervise training on a one-to-one basis for a few weeks.

This new job opportunity is now being promoted widely in the agricultural community. Candidates can either contact their local veterinary practice for further information, or register their interest directly online.

Vet practices keen to find out more can either contact UK Farmcare on 0800 612 5289 or e-mail:

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