Alec Ross

Protecting Scotland’s officially tuberculosis-free status must be a priority for all cattle owners, according to NFU Scotland’s Vice-President and vet Alasdair Macnab.

Mr Macnab believes Scotland’s officially tuberculosis free (OTF) status can be maintained if the sector employs a cautionary approach.

“First, plan your cattle buying policy. Buying stock from TB1 areas will always have a risk of carrying TB, so the perfect scenario is avoiding buying stock that has spent any part of its life in TB1 areas”, he explains.

“The Scottish Government has recognised that by reducing the time limit for pre-movement testing from 60 days to 30 days it can reduce the risk of exposure to TB, but a post-movement test is still required. And of course cattle from TB1 areas should be isolated from other cattle until a clear movement test is completed.

“Finally, there is also a risk of TB (and other diseases) spreading between adjoining herds. A physical, three metre separation should be considered to prevent nose-to-nose contact between neighbouring cattle,” he concluded.


Prime heifers at Carlisle yesterday were a stronger trade on the week, selling to a top price of 350p/kg and averaging 297p/kg, up 17p on the week.

Both beef and dairy bred bulls also met with demand, finishing 2p and 9p up on the week respectively. And while cast beef cows dropped by 7p/head to average 214p/kg, dairy types rose slightly to finish the day at 173p/kg. Demand for prime lambs continues to grow, reflected in an overall average of 328p/kg, up 12p on the week.

32 bullocks at St Boswells yesterday averaged 304p/kg and sold to 330p/kg, with heifers averaging 304p/kg and selling to 340p/kg.

Meanwhile, cast cows averaged 225p/kg and sold to 279p/kg or a top price of £2,371/head. Hoggs averaged 301p/kg or £150/head and sold to £195/head for Texels and a top price of 350p/kg for Beltexes, and 272 cast sheep averaged £104/head, selling to £200/head for a Texel.

384 cattle were sold in Dumfries yesterday with trade continuing to meet demand. Bullocks sold to £1,630/head from The Bush and to 319p/kg from Craiglearen, while heifers sold to £1,590/head from Seafield and to 332p/kg from Newmains. Bulls sold to £1,310/head from Rowanburnfoot and 301p/kg from Auchenhill.

The prevailing strong demand for prime hoggets was again evident at Lanark yesterday with an average of 296p/kg, a rise of 9p on the week, and a top price of £182/head. Cast ewe prices fell slightly however, and averaged £102/head while selling to a top price of £224 for a Texel.