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20-Day Standstill Set to be Lifted at Weekend
04/09/07

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.

cattle

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.

link Livestock Markets and Shows Resume After FMD Scare
link Urgent Rise in Farmers’ Prices Needed as Costs Rocket
link SAC Urges Review Quarantine and Biosecurity Arrangements

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NFU Scotland