Bed and breakfast winter housing, what you need to know

Every winter a significant number of cattle are housed and fed in rented sheds, whilst farmers placing their animals in a bed and breakfast (B&B) should be aware of all the regulations, according to Teagasc.

A B&B winter housing arrangement may suit farmers who are expanding their herds and don’t have the space to house the surplus cattle themselves, Teagasc Cattle Specialist, James Keane said.

“On the other hand, some farmers may prefer to rent a shed on its own, so as to reduce the number of movements on the cattle’s cards,” Keane said.

In an event where cattle are being placed in a ‘B&B’ there are a number of conditions which must be adhered to, including maintaining herd registers and the completion of movement forms.

The sending and receiving holdings must have herd numbers and keep herd registers, while the person in charge of the receiving holding is the keeper of the animals for the duration of their stay, regulations say.

Also, the sending and receiving holdings must not be restricted for any reason at the time of movement of the animals.

All animals moving into and out of the holdings must have passed their annual TB test, as if being sold on the open market, according to Teagasc.

Each animal moving into and out of the holdings must be properly identified and must be accompanied by a valid passport, these passports must be in the possession of the keeper at the B&B for the duration of the animals stay.

Movement of the animals into and out of the holding must be recorded on Cattle Movement Monitoring System by the completion of a CMMS 3 Form (Movement other than for sale), with both movements showing up on the cards, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

This form must be completed by both the sender and the receiver of the animals, while copies of this form must be sent to the Movement Notification Agency in Bandon within seven days.

The passports, and the herd register on both holdings, must be updated to reflect the animal movements and be available for inspection by Department staff.

In the event of a disease outbreak, Teagasc says, the B&B holding will be treated as one epidemiological unit and animal movement will be subject to Department control.

Farmers have options to consider when deciding whether renting a shed or entering into a B&B arrangement is the best winter housing option for them.

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