Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal
Welfare at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
has announced an independent review of livestock movement rules.
“The rules applicable to the identification and movement
of cattle and sheep have existed in their present form since 2000
and 2003 respectively. They exist to help meet the Department’s
top threat, an outbreak of livestock disease. There is evidence
that farmers find them difficult to understand not least because
different rules apply to cattle than to sheep. They may therefore
be difficult to operate.
We need to know whether our policies are having their desired
impact. I have therefore commissioned an independent review of
our policies in this area, to examine what the impact of our
policies has had on farmer behaviour, and whether this has increased
the risk of disease. The review will examine whether we could
regulate in this area better than we do now, whilst carrying
out our obligations under EU law.
I have asked Bill Madders, a dairy farmer from Staffordshire,
who has extensive experience of analysing government policies
that affect the livestock industry, to carry out the review,
and to report back by the end of June.”
1. Bill Madders farms dairy cattle in a family partnership in
Staffordshire. He has been chairman of the NFU Animal Health
and Milk Committees, and chairman of the National Dairy Farm
He is a member of the governing body of the Institute for Animal
Health, a board member of MDC Evaluations Ltd, a trustee of Harper
Adams University College and chairman of the Rural Stress Information
He recently chaired the DEFRA TB Pre-movement Testing Group,
and is a member of the Defra Research Priorities Group.
2. DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE
To review and make recommendations on the degree to which current
rules in England and Wales on the movement of cattle, sheep and
deer deliver a sufficiently reduced risk of disease, taking account
of the need to support the sustainability of the livestock industry.
In particular the review should address the risks being managed
by the controls, the benefits of the controls, the administrative
burden created by them, and the way in which they have influenced
farmer behaviour, including the levels of compliance with them,
and make recommendations.
Out of scope of the review are consideration of the length of
movement standstills applicable to any species. This is because
the six day standstill periods were introduced in 2003 following
extensive work to identify the costs and benefits of having such
an approach. The Report recommended that a standstill period
of 20 days provided the best disease protection, but that a six
day standstill period provided worthwhile protection against
the spread of disease. These results are still valid.
The review will commence this month and report by the end of
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