6 March 2001
Chief vet hints at more movements

By FWi staff

GOVERNMENT chief veterinary officer Jim Scudamore has indicated that more restrictions on livestock movements may be lifted later this week.

Sheep farmers under restriction because of foot-and-mouth disease want to move pregnant ewes from fields to farms as the lambing season approaches.

Farmers also want permission for regulated movement of livestock within land owned by the same farmer when public roads have to be used.

Mr Scudamore said he would discuss their requests with Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF) officials at a meeting on Friday (9 March).

But he could not promise that permission for either request would be granted, saying only that disease control must remain the governments priority.

Many farmers have warned of a desperately serious animal welfare problem unless over-wintered livestock are brought back to agricultural holdings.

The ministry is desperately trying to find a way around the problem before the lambing season gets fully underway in the next few coming weeks.

A source close to MAFF told FARMERS WEEKLY: “They are well aware of the situation but do not in any way want to extend the spread of foot-and-mouth.”

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage