Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds has today set out the plans to allow the movement of cattle and sheep direct to slaughter collections and sales from 23 August, subject to no alteration to the level of risk of foot and mouth.

“These plans form the next step in our ongoing risk-based, staged approach to movement controls,” she said.

“Collection centres and direct to slaughter sales will be able to commence from midnight on Wednesday.”

A collection centre is a gathering of animals in one place to sort them into size before going to an abattoir.

A dedicated slaughter market can operate on the same basis, but in addition allows for buyers to bid for animals on behalf of an abattoir.

The core group of stakeholders said the farming industry would be delighted with the introduction of these new measures which will help the orderly marketing of stock until normal movements can take place following foot and mouth.

“We particularly appreciate the time and effort of the staff which enabled the introduction of dedicated slaughter markets as well as collection centres,” said a statement. “Vigilant and compliant operation of the above is of critical importance.

“The remaining timetable, and therefore our return to normality, relies on effective and responsible implementation.”

The core group is comprised of sthe following organisations:

Livestock Auctioneers Association

National Beef Association

British Veterinary Association

National Farmers Union

National Sheep Association

British Pig Executive

British Meat ProcessorsAssociation