All hope of autumn stock moves dashed
Rising hopes that livestock movement restrictions would be eased for the busy autumn season have been dashed.
Weeks of negotiations have come to nothing as the government announced its new system this week.
Livestock auction marts remain shut, at least until the New Year, denying farmers a choice of outlets and much-needed price transparency. And there is precious little to ease movement of commercial stock and unlock trade barriers. Indeed, some measures are even more restrictive than the ones they replace.
Stamping out this deadly disease is a priority. But Draconian measures which threaten thousands of farmers livelihoods are unacceptable. DEFRA needs to think again, and quickly.