Short pause of TB testing as next stage of NIFAIS goes live

Date published: 16 March 2023

The latest stage of DAERA’s new Northern Ireland Food Animal Information System (NIFAIS) is set to launch on Monday 12 June 2023.


It will replace the existing Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS), which has been in operation since 1998, and this phase brings in all remaining bovine functionality and opens the system up to external stakeholders such as herdkeepers, markets, abattoirs and Private Veterinary Practitioners (PVPs).

Migrating all the remaining bovine data to NIFAIS from APHIS is a complex process and to reduce the risk of data loss or corruption there will be restrictions on TB testing during a three-week period from 29th May to 19th June 2023.

DAERA is urging herd keepers whose compulsory TB tests fall within this period to contact their PVP now to arrange an alternative date to ensure they avoid going overdue, as restrictions will be imposed. All tests can be done 30 days in advance of their due date and it may be possible to arrange some non-reactor tests earlier than, this if agreed with your DAERA office.

DAERA has proactively moved test dates for many Lateral Check Tests in advance to minimise the number of herds requiring testing in this period.

This testing restriction period will be taken into account in any assessments for breaches of the Cross Compliance requirements for TB testing, however, it remains the herdkeeper’s responsibility to comply with TB testing requirements irrespective of these arrangements.

The TB testing restrictions will operate as follows:


  • Week 1 (w/c 29 May 2023): only Reactor Herd tests will be tested on the Monday and results read on the Thursday.

  • Week 2 (w/c 5 June 2023): no testing.

  • Week 3 (w/c 12 June 2023): no TB testing to commence on Monday. Only Reactor herd testing from Tuesday – Saturday.

There may be a short delay in the removal of reactors due to a reduction in the processing of valuations on APHIS and the generation of movement licences. Any disruption will be kept to a minimum and reactors must remain isolated until removed. DAERA will be working with all parties to ensure any delays in paying compensation are minimised.

It will still be possible to export animals during the three-week period, but exporters are advised to plan ahead with their PVP to ensure any required tests are completed in time and prior to the restriction period.

Tag suppliers will not be able to access NIFAIS during the weekend before Monday, 12 June 2023 so place orders in advance of this date where tags are required.

NIFAIS first launched for DAERA staff and bovine tag suppliers in July 2017. This phase marks the end of Stage 1 of the project for bovine functionality, with Stage 2 planned to go live in late 2024 and covers other non-bovine species.

NIFAIS will eventually fully replace APHIS as the database used by DAERA and its stakeholders.

Download our Frequently Asked Questions on this matter.

Or contact your local DAERA Direct Office on 0300 200 7840 and ask to be put through to Customer Service Branch in your local office or email:

Notes to editors: 

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  2. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office:

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