12 April 2002

Pre-show isolation

LIVESTOCK exhibitors at this seasons agricultural shows must house show stock in DEFRA approved on-farm isolation units 20 days before the first show.

But this leaves little time for those cattle, pig and poultry exhibitors showing at the first English agricultural show (May 11 and 12), allowing livestock entries.

With only four weeks left, Jill Waddington show manager of the Newark and Notts County event says a letter, explaining DEFRA regulations, has been sent out to the 60 livestock exhibitors this week.

"Our letter will shock many entrants. There has been no black-and-white communication from DEFRA setting out exactly what exhibitors must do before attending the show – it has filtered through in bits and pieces, without any apparent urgency for early summer shows.

"Although show entries are slightly down, we are extremely pleased with the numbers of exhibitors. However, many will be unaware of the need for on-farm isolation units, which may not be practical on some farms and there could be withdrawals," adds Mrs Waddington.

A DEFRA spokesperson, explaining the regulations to farmers weekly, confirmed that isolation unit housing must be located at least 5m away from other livestock, not 20m as first decided. In addition, show stock must not come into contact with other stock for the duration of the show season. This prevents the triggering of the 20-day standstill rule each time stock return to the farm.

The isolation unit must be DEFRA approved before show stock are moved in 20 days before the first show attended, he said. Producers should contact their local divisional vet manager for an inspection, which the DVM can instruct local vets to carry out.

According to Newark and Notts show livestock officer Isabel Bourne, producers will also have to present a vet certificate guaranteeing show stock have been isolated for 20 days before they are allowed onto the showground. &#42

LIVESTOCK EXHIBITORS

Urgency for early shows.

DEFRA approved isolation.

20 days before first show.