22 November 2001
Code of practice for sheep farmers

By FWi staff

SHEEP farmers are being asked to follow a new code of practice and maintain biosecurity to prevent a new foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The code, by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, includes guidance on how the disease risks can be reduced.

All routine sheep husbandry practices involving the movement of people, equipment and vehicles from one farm to another carry risks, it says.

Licensing has already been introduced in some areas to reduce the risks posed by contract shearers, dippers and sheep scanners.

But licensing other procedures would be impractical and farmers must manage risks by following the advice given, the documents says.

The advice repeats many already widely-publicised recommendations.

It says farmers should avoid visits to other farms and keep written records showing who and when visits their own unit.

Producers must make sure contractors have the appropriate licence and ensure they disinfect themselves and their equipment thoroughly.

Casual labour should be avoided if they have worked with other livestock on the same day or with livestock in a high risk area in the preceding 7 days.

The code has been endorsed by the National Farmers Union, National Sheep Association and the National Association of Agricultural Contractors.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage
Recovery plan – Full coverage