Foot and mouth disease movement restrictions have been eased further in Wales, with livestock collection centres and dedicated slaughter markets, known as red markets, permitted to operate from 12 midnight last night (Sunday, 16 September).

Welsh Assembly representatives and the chief vet for Wales, Christianne Glossop, met with key stakeholders today to discuss the latest steps to relax animal movement rules.

Industry welcomed the move and fully supported the conditions placed in the licences, making the assurance that the rules relating to the re-opening of collection centres and red markets would be strictly adhered to.

Commenting on the move, Rural Affairs minister Elin Jones said: “I am pleased that based on veterinary advice, I am able to allow collection centres and red meat markets across Wales to operate.

“Collection centres will operate under strict controls and all animals entered into a collection centre must then move direct to slaughter.”

Scottish market large

Further general licences have been issued for the movement of animals in specific circumstances, including the movement of stray, susceptible animals from roads and a veterinary risk assessment is currently being carried out into allowing animals to move for welfare reasons.

Farmers Union of Wales president, Gareth Vaughan has welcomed the limited easing of restrictions, saying that it is vital that farmers remain vigilant to keep Wales free of foot and mouth.

Full details on the general licences are available on the Welsh Assembly website