19 July 2002

Movement curbs poser

THE Royal Society inquiry into infectious animal diseases in Great Britain has called for more research to allow a decision to be made on whether movement controls and standstills for animals can be reduced.

Brian Follett, who chaired the inquiry into infectious diseases in livestock, said if the precautionary principle was applied the 20-day standstill should become permanent for all livestock species.

Minimising animal movements would make it difficult for an outbreak to reach epidemic proportions.

Sir Brian said his committee realised keeping controls could be costly and posed practical problems, but added that it had not had enough information to establish what would happen if the standstill period was reduced from 20 days.

"We havent come up with a clear answer. Its a lack of having clear data available," he said. &#42