DEFRA links licences to biosecurity

13 July 2001

DEFRA links licences to biosecurity

By FWi staff

FARMERS must demonstrate that they meet biosecurity standards before getting licences to move livestock, the government has announced.

Producers who fail to meet these precautions to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth will have to use hauliers to move the stock.

This comes after farmers leaders have claimed that some producers away from disease hotspots are dropping their guard against the virus.

And the emergence of clusters at Settle and Thirsk in North Yorkshire have alarmed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Minister Elliot Morley said: “The majority of farmers and others working around farms are remaining vigilant in keeping up precautions.

But it is important that everyone maintains such standards, and we must also take action against those who may be letting standards slip.

Where biosecurity standards are clearly insufficient we will look at the case for refusing further applications for such licences.”

These conditions will apply to licences for movements to slaughter
issued from 13 July, says DEFRA.

Biosecurity controls already applying to other livestock movement licences are being adapted, where necessary, to include these conditions.

A DEFRA spokeswoman said: This is a reaction to the present situation. Outbreaks in Thirsk and Settle dont seem to have much connection with other cases.

These controls are to stop farmers thinking of this as a regional problem rather than a national issue.

Earlier this week, National Pig Association chairman James Black said producers away from present outbreaks were relaxing biosecurity measures.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Margaret Beckett told MPs that foot-and-mouth restrictions will remain in place until the winter, reports The Daily Telegraph.

She said tighter controls will include restrictions on the 10-km area around new cases and bringing movement in those areas to a minimum for 30 days,

The National Trust has called on the government to invest in environmentally-friendly farming and tourism in the aftermath of foot-and-mouth.

It made this call after research carried out on its behalf found that two thirds of tourist jobs in rural areas depend on historic buildings and beautiful scenery.

The survey in the North East, Cumbria and the South West found that farmed landscapes were vital to attracting tourists, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Three new cases of foot-and-mouth were confirmed in North Yorkshire since Wednesday (11 July) evening, taking the UK total to 1841.


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