Wales and Scotland have announced changes to the special measures brought in to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease.

In Scotland some of the movement bans on certain susceptible animals have been relaxed in the interests of animal welfare.

Pregnant cows, sows and weaned pigs can now be moved within farm premises to others parts of the same premises.

Temporary changes to the laws on removal of fallen stock in Scotland have also been revised.

On farm burial of stock in Scotland must now stop as the special dispensation came to an end at midnight 12 August.

Instead fallen stock can be collected by contractors from farm entrances by authorised vehicles, subject to strict disinfectant and other biosecurity measures, the Scottish Executive has announced.

The general ban on all other movements in relation to the current foot and mouth outbreak still applies and will be rigorously enforced, the executive said.

In Wales rural affairs minister Elin Jones announced that the movement restrictions had been eased.

Newly-weaned animals, pregnant sows, pregnant cows, animals for breeding and animals with feeding difficulties as a result of a severe shortage of grazing can be moved.

In this category, the movement can be by no more than one kilometre.

Farmers should contact their Animal Health Office for permission under a general licence for the movement of injured susceptible animals for veterinary treatment resulting from road traffic accidents in a restricted zone.

The same applies to farmers who consider that their animals are suffering from acute welfare issues, a Welsh Assembly spokesman said.

Farmers can then apply for a licence for approval to move their animals, subject to a veterinary inspection agreeing to the move, the spokesman added.

The farmer would need to meet the cost of the veterinary inspection.

These arrangements apply only to farms and land in Wales. No such movements would be allowed into England, the assembly stressed.

The Scottish government helpline for farmers is – 0845 1553366.

In Wales farmers should visit www.wales.gov.uk/footandmouth

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