NFU Scotland | /animal-health-and-welfare.aspx

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Animal Health & Welfare During COVID-19


What should I be doing now to protect animal welfare in case of staff shortages?

NFU Scotland has also produced a Business Guide Update for members on ensuring animal welfare is protected in light of possible staff absences, available here 


Are Key Agricultural Workers Required to Self-Isolate?

NFUS has been informed by the Scottish Government that key agricultural workers who are required to self-isolate as a case or contact of a case should be able to leave their home to tend to their livestock / other farm duties, as long as they are not in contact with other people in the course of their duties or during travel to/from work.

Will Veterinary Service be affected?

The BVA has updated its advice to vets regarding what sort of work they should be carrying out as ‘essential’ given the extension of lock down controls.  The new advice allows for greater flexibility for the vet to use judgement on the necessity and risks involved. See here for further information.


Animal Health


Is veterinary surveillance affected – can I still send carcasses for post-mortem?

Veterinary Surveillance is currently operating ‘business as usual’, where you can safely deliver carcasses or samples to veterinary centres, observing social distancing rules, this should continue as usual.  Currently staffing levels are managing but as demand increases or staffing levels fall, they may have to prioritise submissions for those essential for animal welfare situations and necessary national surveillance work.


What statutory testing and veterinary work is still taking place, will I still need to carry out tests such as BVD and TB?

The CVO Scotland’s advice to livestock keepers about statutory testing and veterinary visits can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-livestock-keepers/  Statutory testing like TB, BVD, Salmonella and TSE, should all go ahead as normal.  You should ensure that you are able to maintain safe social distancing and if you are unable to carry out testing because of Covid-19, you should document the reason for audit purposes.  Your testing will be considered overdue and restrictions applied until testing can be completed.


Are labs open for testing samples from Statutory BVD testing?

Most BVD approved labs are continuing BVD testing as normal, with the caveat that turnaround times might be a little longer if they have staff off sick/on self-isolation due to Covid-19.  The exception is SRUC, who are operating their testing laboratory with reduced staff and are prioritising diagnostic samples.  SRUC will continue to accept BVD samples but may have to store them prior to testing in order to get the urgent diagnostic samples done first.  The BVD samples will be tested eventually but SRUC turnaround times will be slower than usual.  

Samples should be sent off for testing as usual.  If you or your vet has not had any communication from their testing lab about Covid-19 arrangements, you may wish to phone or email for an update.  We’d remind everyone to store samples in the fridge between collection and posting to the lab.


I am a member of the sheep health scheme but am unable to carry out testing required in the scheme, what will happen to my status?

For general advice on testing for SRUC Health Schemes see here









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