More than 60 people from across agriculture have now registered their interest in training so they can test cattle for bovine tuberculosis.
The jobs have been created following approval by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) last November to allow para-professional staff to support vets in carrying out TB testing in England.
“Since we started publicising the ATT opportunity on behalf of the veterinary community back in the spring, we have seen a surge of interest,” says Kate Bowen from UK Farmcare.
There are now 49 fully authorised Approved Tuberculin Testers (ATTs) in England with another 21 TB testing under veterinary supervision and three undergoing the theory part of the training.
Ms Bowen says anyone interested in becoming an ATT must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid UK driving licence and passport, possess a clean criminal record and then be approved by the APHA.
Minimum educational requirements include at least three graded GCSEs or equivalent in English, maths and a science or food production subject. Applicants must also demonstrate at least six months cattle handling experience.
Following a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, applicants must find a veterinary practice to provide the direct supervision they need during the practical phase of the training.
UK Farmcare can provide support for candidates who don’t currently have contact with a suitable livestock veterinary practice in their local area. Once that is done, the next step is to access the online training course and then pass a test.
Veterinary practices sponsoring ATT applicants must already provide TB testing services for both beef and dairy cattle – and have enough TB testing vets available to allow one to be able to supervise one-to-one training for a few weeks.