Identification of Reactors

1. Reactors are identified when undertaking a TB test using the official ID as read on the ear tag. The reactors are recorded:

2. Misidentification can occur where:

3. In England and Wales, DNA tagging of reactor animals is required. The presence of a specific and visible tag in such animals will ensure farmers, valuers, Food Standards Agency (FSA) Operations Group and slaughterhouse staff have identified and are dealing with the correct animal. The removal of a small piece of tissue will allow DNA testing at a future date if misidentification is suspected.

4. In Scotland, any reactor cattle identified at the TB test by an OV, will be tagged by APHA staff at the valuation visit using a metal 'R' tag.

5. The insertion of the tag should be at the earliest opportunity, e.g. at the time of measuring the increase in skin thickness, that causes the animal to become a reactor.

6. Deliberate misidentification of the animal for fraudulent reasons is not common, but could happen for a number of reasons including:

DNA Tagging of Reactor Cattle in England and Wales

1. The use of a DNA tagging procedure will provide both a deterrent and a robust evidential trail to support a prosecution where this is considered an appropriate course of action.

2. The use of DNA marker tags is carried out in England and Wales, and the tags will collect a small sample of tissue from the reactor's ear at the time of tagging. The DNA present in the tissue sample taken at the time of tagging can subsequently be checked against the DNA of the animal presented for slaughter.

3. The legal basis for the application of DNA marking tags is: