Re: The MAFF Serological (Blood) Testing of Farmer's Sheep

I advise all farmers receiving requests from the MAFF to allow them to blood test a percentage of their flock to ensure that the following advice is followed.

1. Number each sheep as it is tested in sequence and ensure that each sample phial is also numbered to match.
2. Ensure your Holding number is also clearly marked on each sample phial.
3. Ensure that the box containing the samples is also clearly marked with your name, address & and Holding number.

In the event of the MAFF telling you they have found one or more sero-positives among the samples from the sheep tested and therefore wishing to cull your flock, you will be able to ask the numbers of the phial samples that were positive, pull that animal from the flock and have it examined by your Vet and/or a MAFF Vet for historic lesions.
In the event of no healed lesions being found, you could demand another test.

Be warned that at present it seems that if sero-positive results are found the MAFF order a cull. If historic lesions are found in those animals after the cull, the premises are treated as an IP (Infected Premises) and contiguous culls result.

Jane Barribal -