30 October 2001
Avoid auction markets, says chief vet

By Alistair Driver

THE government has told thousands of farmers hit by the foot-and-mouth crisis to avoid restocking farms with livestock bought from auction markets.

Chief veterinary officer Jim Scudamore launched two advisory booklets for livestock farmers wanting to restock in London on Tuesday (30 October).

The booklets are aimed at encouraging farmers to make sure they know as much as possible about any new animals they are buying, he said.

Mr Scudamore said 1,100 farms out of 9,336 units that were culled out during the crisis were now eligible for re-stocking.

Where possible, farmers should purchase direct from sellers rather than from livestock markets when they re-open, he told a media briefing.

“Many factors to be taken into consideration when purchasing stock [but] controlling the risk of introducing disease needs to be a priority for farmers.”

“The problem is when different animals come together from lots of different farms, as happened at Longtown market in February

The booklets, called “Golden Rules, encourage farmers to work closely with their local vet and to develop health plans for their farms.

Sheep farmers are advised to buy sheep that are not susceptible to scrapie. Producers are also given advice about minimising tuberculosis in cattle.

The booklets will be sent to all cattle and sheep farmers in England. Similar leaflets will be sent to farmers in Scotland and Wales.

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