NFU Scotland has welcomed with relief the news that, subject
to the completion of final blood testing of animals in Surrey,
the 20-day standstill will be lifted from Sunday. This will mark
the removal of the final foot and mouth-related restriction.
NFUS President Jim McLaren said:
“This is a hugely important and significant step. We’ve
been in daily contact with Ministers, vets and officials to unwind restrictions
since they came in four weeks ago. They have all put in an incredible
effort over the last month.
“The 20-day standstill has caused a lot of concern, particularly
with the sales underway again. The news that, barring any unforeseen
circumstances, it will be lifted from Sunday is a relief. The return
to a 13-day standstill, with separation arrangements, will allow the
livestock industry to get back to the position it was in before the outbreak.
There are still some haulage problems, which we’re trying to resolve
with the Department for Transport.
“Clearly there is still unfinished business with further reports
awaited on the role of Pirbright in the whole outbreak. Any outbreak
of foot and mouth is devastating, but two in six years is simply unacceptable.
“Our attention now turns to the big issues we were focussed on
prior to 3 August. None is more important that the sustainability of
the whole farming industry. The pressure on the livestock sector has
been highlighted recently with spiralling costs and woeful prices – but
the issue is relevant for all sectors of the industry. I have been in
further discussions with the retailers over the last 72 hours stressing
that they have it in their gift to secure future supplies by ensuring
producers receive a price which reflects their costs.”
• The current 20 day regime will end at 2359 hours on
the day that the surveillance zone is lifted. This will occur on
September 8 at the earliest, the final timing being dependent on
the completion of laboratory analysis of blood samples taken from
susceptible animals in the zone.
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