NFU Scotland is commending the fast unwinding of restrictions
associated with the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Surrey, whilst reminding
producers of the importance of adhering to the remaining restrictions.
Over the weekend, the Scottish Executive announced that islands
are now exempt from many of the major restrictions imposed as a
result of the foot and mouth. Agricultural shows, markets, auctions
and movement of all animals can resume within each island.
Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles will no longer be in the
restricted zone which means livestock transfer between islands
commenced again at midnight on Saturday 11 August.
In addition, a specific licence in now available to enable the
movement of Foot and Mouth susceptible livestock directly between
two premises within a farm business not more than 20 kilometres
apart as the crow flies, in cases where animal welfare is a concern.
Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland Vice-President, said:
“This situation is changing at such a fast pace and we must
commend the authorities for taking such prompt action to alleviate
some of the problems faced by farmers as a result of the Foot and
Mouth outbreak in Surrey.
“In particular, some of our members have had concerns over
animal welfare issues as a result of the movement ban, for example,
pigs getting overcrowded, and so it is extremely encouraging to
see these concerns being addressed. We know that there are many
other concerns and we are working on an hourly basis with vets
and officials to address these.
“Many will benefit from the flexibility that has been introduced
over the weekend, but it is still absolutely essential that we
remain vigilant and maintain all other protective measures already
in place. Breaches will prejudice the flexibility that has already
been introduced and may also jeopardise the resumption of exports.
“It is essential that producers continue to adhere to the
GB wide movement ban, unless their circumstances fall within the
published general or specific licenses for movement.
“It is only with one hundred percent commitment from the
industry that we will be able to continue to move forward and get
the situation back to normal as fast as possible.”
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