NFU Scotland has welcomed with relief the news that Scotland
will be free of all domestic movement restrictions next Wednesday,
Jim McLaren, NFU Scotland President
Yesterday, the Union stressed that Scotland’s livestock industry
was being crippled by restrictions, with markets and farms unable
to function properly as a result of the 20-day standstill.
Whilst stressing that farmers would have hoped for an earlier lifting,
NFUS has welcomed the timetable nonetheless, which allows farmers
to plan ahead. It is important to note that the restrictions relating
to meat exports – including a 21-day standstill requirement
on farms and 30-day residency period for animals – remain
NFUS President Jim McLaren said:
“This is good news and there will be a collective sigh of
relief across the country that we will be free of domestic restrictions
in a week. The 20-day standstill has tied the industry in knots
and put the market system in turmoil.
“Whilst there are problems right now, and we could have done
with the restrictions being lifted this week rather than next, we
can at least see light at the end of the tunnel.
“When the restrictions are lifted farmers will be able to
bring in new stock to the farm, use separation arrangements and
therefore take other animals to move off for sale. These kinds of
movements are critical over the Autumn period.
“Another example of the problem has been on Bute. The island
would normally be taking on sheep but because the mainland has remained
restricted, and the island is in the ‘free’ zone, it
has not been able to. This has further hurt farms on the island
already suffering financial problems and it has also created welfare
problems on the mainland with animals backing up.
“I would also stress once again that, whilst we have been
focussed so heavily on lifting restrictions, biosecurity still remains
important. Vets are worried about the lack of appropriate clothing
at markets and I would remind all our members of the licence conditions.
They must wear clothing that can be cleansed and sprayed.”
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