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Farmers to receive information on Animal Movement Rules

by 5m Editor
27 February 2003, at 12:00am

UK - Up to 86,000 farmers in England will from today be receiving booklets regarding major changes to the Spring animal movements regime.

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The changes, which will come into effect on March 4, include a reduction of the 20-day whole farm standstill to six days (except for pigs) but with very few exemptions, except for moves to slaughter and for veterinary purposes.

The booklet summarises the rules that will apply from March 4 until July 31. The Government will take account of any new evidence, including the final reports on the risk assessment and cost benefit analysis of the movement standstill before drawing up the rules to apply from August.

And the booklet will outline the exemptions to the six day standstill, the rules for pigs, general licences, identification and movement reporting, biosecurity at markets and show and cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles.

Food and Farming Minister Lord Whitty said the new rules should make it easier for farmers to plan stock movements and simpler for the industry as a whole to understand.

In the foreword to the booklet, Lord Whitty added: "We decided to make the change after we had considered the preliminary findings from the risk assessment and cost-benefit work recommended by the independent Inquiries into FMD.

"One of the main findings of the risk assessment was that the early detection of disease is essential. We hope that this change will provide an opportunity for us all to work together to make real improvements in disease detection and biosecurity.

"So please remember that the health of your animals and the industry as a whole depends on your cooperation in following the rules on biosecurity - on your farms, in markets and when transporting animals."

Defra will be consulting stakeholders later this year about introducing new biosecurity and disease control measures and a consultation paper will be issued shortly.

In a separate move, Defra today published the emerging findings from the risk assessment and cost benefit analysis of animal movement standstills: these indicated that, although in some circumstances a 20-day standstill would be more effective than a six day rule in limiting the size of an outbreak, in cost-benefit terms a six day standstill gives a positive net benefit in almost all the scenarios considered.

The studies - which are due to be completed by the end of May - were commissioned in response to the recommendations made in the Lessons Learned and Royal Society Inquiries in July 2002.

The booklet can be accessed electronically on Defra's website at
http://www.defra.gov.uk/footandmouth/movements/main_index.htm

Source: DEFRA - 25th February 2003

5m Editor