NFU welcomes grain guidelines
by FWi staff
FARMERS representatives have welcomed government guidance on the movement of grain on and off farms while foot-and-mouth persists.
The National Farmers Union says advice issued by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be vital as harvest time approaches.
The guidelines say the chances of grain itself becoming contaminated are very low, as the virus cannot survive long under normal storage conditions.
But greater risk lies with inadequate cleansing and disinfection of vehicles and drivers transporting grain.
NFU Vice President Michael Paske said: “As harvest approaches, there will be an upsurge in movements on and off farm as farmers empty stores in preparation for harvest.
“All farmers, hauliers and others involved in the movement of grain need to stick to the disease-control precautions referred to in these guidelines.”
Farmers are urged to keep visits to a minimum, keep a record of all visits and being aware of what other farms a contractor may have visited that day.
Guidelines are broken down into sections based on farm type and disease status.
Producers in Infected Areas and under form D restrictions require a licence.
In Infected Areas licences will be issued for grain that has been stored in closed silos or bins unopened during the previous 21 days.
It must also have been treated with an approved disinfectant or floor stored for not less than 21 days following cleansing and disinfection where the premises has been slaughtered out.
The situation is similar for premises under form D the restrictions, though restrictions are more complex for grain that has been floor stored.
Meanwhile, Devon has launched a campaign for 180 million aid to help its economy recover from the impact of the virus.
Research has indicated that foot-and-mouth could cost the economy 470 million and lead to the loss of around 13,000 jobs.
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