MAFF spells out cull exemptions
By FWi staff
DETAILS have been issued on how owners of rare sheep and goat breeds and hefted sheep flocks can apply for exemption from foot-and-mouth culling.
Under the scheme, certain stock which meet criteria will be spared from slaughter in contiguous areas or from 3km culls
The arrangements aims to preserve rare breeds and breeding nuclei of high genetic value, and hefted flocks needed to preserve moorland landscapes.
MAFF stresses that arrangements are designed to ensure that this does not significantly prejudice the control of foot-and-mouth.
Owners of sheep or goats must apply for exemption as soon as possible after receiving notification of intention to slaughter stock.
The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a list of criteria which must be met before stock can be made exempt from the cull.
Under these, rare breeds must be kept in a closed flock separated by a stock-proof perimeter fence and looked after by someone with no contact with the disease.
Owners of all exempted sheep and goats must ensure that they are individually identified and that records are kept.
Written confirmation must be provided stating that the flock for which exemption is sought is hefted.
Full details of all the conditions of the scheme are on the MAFF website at http://www.maff.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/fmd/latest/rare.htm.
Junior agriculture minister Elliot Morley said he was “delighted” that provisions were being made for rare breeds and moorland sheep such as Herdwicks and Swaledales.
The scheme was confirmed by Agriculture minister Nick Brown on 26 April.
Meanwhile, farmers have disputed claims by Tony Blair of Thursday (03 May) that Britain is in the “home straight” in the fight against the disease.
Writng in The Daily Telegraph, farming wife Sally Leaney says due to early Government dithering severely infected areas are nowhere near the home straight.
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