11 May 2001
Disease rules freed up for breeding

By FWi staff

FOOT-AND-MOUTH disease movement restrictions have been relaxed to let male animals be moved under licence for breeding.

Bulls, boars and rams can now be moved without the farmer having to prove that the movement is needed to alleviate animal welfare problems.

Applications for licences can be made from Friday (11 May), MAFF has announced.

The National Beef Association had warned the government it risked farmers taking the law into their own hands unless movement rules were relaxed.

Farmers were frustrated that restrictions were being applied in a way that took no account of the need to move animals between farms owned by different people.

NBA chief executive Robert Forster said the livestock industry would be plunged into deeper crisis if animals were prevented from breeding.

The ban on moving animals under Longer Distance Movement Licences to premises within 1km of common or shared grazing land has also been lifted.

The ministry says details will be announced shortly of licences to move animals on to such land.

In a further change to the movement controls, all applications should be made to Local Veterinary Inspectors from 11 May.

About 120,000 applications for movement licences have now been processed.

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