As I’m sure you will be aware, there are some changes to how TB testing, as well as other OV services such as Brucellosis and Anthrax testing, are being managed in England and Wales. It is our intention to minimise the impact this has on you as our valued client.
All TB tests are now being co-ordinated through regional Delivery Partners who then allocate them to veterinary practices to undertake the work. Westpoint Farm Vets have registered as a subcontractor business in all of the regions to allow us to carry on performing these services for you as our clients.
One of the underlying tenets of the change is that ‘farmer choice’ should take preference wherever possible. At the moment this will maintain the status quo – that is whoever performed your last test will be allocated your next test until you tell the Delivery Partner otherwise. For England, this will be via the following webpage: http://www.xlfarmcare.co.uk/content/farmers-preferred-vet.
If we carried out your last test, there is no need to fill this in. If, however, you are unsure or we did not carry out your last test and you would like us to undertake testing on your farm going forwards, please go to the website and fill in the form indicating us to be your TB testing practice of choice.
The new system will lead to significant reductions of over 30% in the payment rates we receive for TB testing. This means that in many circumstances, TB testing will struggle to cover the associated costs. As such, we would request the following:
- Please be considerate when booking TB tests. Prompt booking allows us to manage our time more efficiently.
- Please consider options for tests to be carried out at different times. For example, starting early afternoon. We may also need to provide a different vet to your usual vet to allow efficiency of management.
- Please ensure handling systems are adequate for the number and size of stock being presented. If you would like to discuss how to make your handling system more efficient, we will be willing to help.
- Please ensure enough staff are available to help the test run as smoothly as possible. We expect in a well-designed setup with ample staff to be able to test 80 animals an hour for dairy cows and over 60 for all other stock. If you are not achieving this, could your handling system be improved to increase efficiency for us and you alike?
- Please ensure you are ready and prepared for when the vet arrives and particularly during the grazing season, that all stock are held close to an appropriate handling system.
- To help the test run efficiently, for a charge we can provide an additional pair of hands to help with records or move cattle. We also have a mobile handling system available and cattle crush in some area. Please speak to your practice about the local availability and our current offers available for these services.
- We will confirm all appointments by letter. Where possible these will be sent by email
We would like to thank you in advance for your help. By working together, we can continue to provide testing services to our farms, and help support you in minimising the impact of TB on your business.
Please contact your local Westpoint practice for further information.
The Westpoint Team