Finally some hope for the industry…….foot and mouth movement rules have been relaxed to allow markets to resume in the low risk area from next Thursday, 4 October.

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The announcement was made late yesterday by DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn at the same time as he confirmed a fifth case of Bluetongue had been discovered on a farm in Suffolk.

The resumption of markets will be subject to stringent biosecurity measures and the current control measures in the FMD Risk Area remain in place.

DEFRA have always taken a risk-based and staged approach to movement restrictions, explained Mr Benn. “The decision to announce today that livestock markets will be allowed from next Thursday follows extensive discussion with stakeholders, and I know will be of great benefit to the farming and food chain industry in easing economic and welfare pressures.

“It will also allow time for preparations for markets to take place and for the required biosecurity measures to be applied.”

In addition, following negative laboratory results the Foot and Mouth disease Temporary Control Zone in the Maidenhead area has now lifted. Laboratory tests also show that the strain of FMD found on the seventh infected premises is the same strain as that found on the other premises in Surrey.

DEFRA has also today received positive test results for bluetongue for a fifth animal on a fourth premises near Burstall, Suffolk. This animal will be culled.