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FMD Exit Strategy Will Allow Livestock Sector to Plan Ahead
17/08/07

Intense collaboration between industry organisations and Defra specialists has already established a timetable covering a planned exit in England from suffocating anti-FMD controls – and also laid the foundations for future industry-government partnerships on the management of bovine TB and wider responsibility and cost sharing for animal disease control.

© www.jennifermackenzie.co.uk

beef cattle

So says the National Beef Association which was one of the six industry partners which has worked almost full time with Defra over the past ten days to put together the FMD exit strategy which is already being praised by farmers, vets and by government itself.

The key points in the strategy are that from August 16th a general movement licence can be used for the movement of any susceptible species within a holding in England for welfare reasons with a distance limit of 3 km radius and may include a movement along/across a public road and all movements must observe strict bio-security measures.

At the end of next week a general licence will be available to allow the collection and distribution of livestock moving direct to slaughter at an approved collection centre where the highest level of bio-security and traceability can be maintained.

“The new licences will definitely ease the pressure on mounting on-farm welfare problems and the movements have been allowed following precise analysis of the risks”, explained NBA director, Kim Haywood.

“Each of these moves will dramatically reduce the strain on individual farmers, and the red meat supply chain in England, and it is to be hoped that similar relaxations will be approved in Scotland and Wales too.”

“Farmers, vets and other industry specialists must maintain their vigilance on bio-security because it will add weight to the joint Defra-industry request for the European Commission’s SCoFCAH committee to vote on the resumption of meat and meat product exports from the UK when it meets on August 23rd,” said Ms Haywood.

“And if all continues to go well SCoFCAH will also be asked to table a vote on the resumption of live animal exports from the UK when it meets again early in September.”

“It is impressive that farmers and vets in the UK have demonstrated their high state of alert as 57 possible FMD cases have been reported and investigated across GB, 52 have been negated, 5 are still under investigation and this vigilance and thoroughness is certain to be taken into account by SCoFCAH when it makes its own assessment of the FMD position within the UK next week.”

“Farmers and processors now know that it is impossible for the industry to return to normal before September 8th and that every effort is being made for normal movement and trading to begin again as soon as possible after that date.”

“The NBA believes today’s announcement will help everyone in the industry to plan ahead and is also hoping that the success of this joint industry-government exercise in disease crisis management will be repeated when attention returns to Bovine TB and other on-going animal health issues,” Ms Haywood added.

link NFU Maps Out Foot and Mouth Road to Recovery
link New Foot and Mouth Disease Scare in Kent
link FMD Restrictions Continue to Unwind but Vigilance Still Key

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