Compensation for animals that need to be slaughtered

We compensate you for the loss of any ‘reactor’ animal — an animal that tests positive for TB and needs to be slaughtered. Your TB tester will work with you to ensure you’re paid a fair price for the animal.

The amount you’re paid is based on ‘fair market value’. Fair market pricing rates are defined in a schedule prepared for us by PGG Wrightson every month, showing the latest market valuations for cattle and deer.

When you’ve agreed on a price, your TB tester gives you a contract to sign, which they send on to us. If you’re not happy with the price you’re offered, talk to your TB tester to find out what your options are — you may be able to get an independent valuation done.

Sending beef and dairy cattle to slaughter

Once you've signed a contract for the reactor animal, we'll issue a ‘Permit to move’ and arrange for it to be transported to the works and slaughtered. We meet the costs of both the move and slaughter.

Sending deer to slaughter

If you're sending normal (non-positive) deer to the works within 30 days of identifying a reactor, the animals can be moved together. Before you move the animals, contact the meat processor to tell them about the reactor animal's TB status and make sure they'll accept it. If they agree to take it, let us know the details of when and where the animal will be moved. We’ll issue you with a ‘Permit to move’ which you need to send with the animal.

If you don’t have other animals to send to the works, or if the meat processor won’t take the reactor animal, we can arrange for it to be slaughtered and given a post-mortem inspection on the farm instead. We cover the cost of slaughter, either on-farm or at the works.

How the post-mortem inspection works

A post-mortem inspection for TB is completed when the animal is slaughtered. The meat inspector checks the reactor animal's lymph nodes for any lesions that look typical for TB.

Any TB lesions found in the post-mortem are sampled by the meat inspector and submitted to the laboratory for further in-depth testing. Mycobacterium bovis is slow growing, so it can take up to 90 days to be confident of a 'no TB' diagnosis.

If you choose to slaughter the animal before testing is complete

Some farmers choose to have an animal slaughtered as soon as it has a positive reaction to a skin test, rather than wait for further testing. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to:

  • sign a ‘waiver of compensation’ first — we don’t pay compensation for animals that are slaughtered before we’ve completed all our standard diagnostic tests
  • cover the cost of moving the animal to the works
  • pay for the slaughter and post-mortem inspection yourself.

While reactor animals can be slaughtered on-farm, we prefer them to be sent to the works and slaughtered there as this means they'll get a standard post-mortem inspection.

If you do choose to slaughter the animal on your farm — which may be appropriate if you’re in the process of selling animals, for example — talk to your TB tester or one of our Disease management vets about it first.