Foot-and-mouth restrictions in low-risk areas of England could be lifted as early as next Wednesday (17 October), depending on veterinary risk assessments and subject to no further adverse developments in the outbreak.
The plan is to lift restrictions in the already defined low-risk zones. But if it would mean movements could be freed up quicker, new zones would be established on a risk-assessed basis, a DEFRA spokeperson said.
This follows the announcement by chief veterinary officer for Scotland, Charles Milne, that foot-and-mouth restrictions would be lifted completely in Scotland next Wednesday, resulting in a return to normal trade arrangements north of the border.
“I am discussing with other CVOs in England and Wales their programme for rolling back restrictions in a similar way,” he added.
Richard Lochead, Scottish secretary for rural affairs, reminded producers that, while the domestic regime is returning to its pre-outbreak arrangements, the requirements for export are that stock to be slaughtered must have been resident for 30 days on the same holding and that no susceptible animals may have moved on to the premises within the previous 21 days.
- For more on foot-and-mouth see pages 8, 10, 12, 13.