New livestock normality
LIVESTOCK production will operate under a new normality when the 20-day rule is eventually lifted, but life will be nothing like it was before foot-and-mouth, Lord Whitty told Beef 2002 visitors.
He said the government was in a difficult position over the 20-day rule. "The advice being given to DEFRA by vets and scientists says that a relaxation of the 20-day rule could increase risks of disease spread.
"We are aiming for a new normality concerning livestock movements and something will have to be worked out within the next two or three months," said Lord Whitty. But he refused to confirm it would be lifted.
He said he wanted a profitable, prosperous and sustainable UK beef sector. And while he admitted that the government was not clear of blame over the F&M crisis, he pacified angry producers worried about risks from imported beef supplies.
"There is no free access of meat into the UK from countries where F&M is endemic," he told the audience. *