By FWi staff
DEFRA plans to relax the ban on multiple pick-ups for the transport of animals to slaughter.
Regulations, however, have not been completely lifted.
Pick-ups will only be allowed in foot-and-mouth-free counties, from approved premises with perimeter loading pens or trailers.
Initially, the relaxation will apply only to beef cattle and pigs.
A licensing system has yet to be put in place, but is hoped that movements will be under way within the next few weeks.
Smaller farmers will be the biggest beneficiaries, reckons Peter Hambleton, managing director of livestock marketing co-op Quality Calves.
“Not many producers can fill a whole lorry, so this will obviously reduce transport costs.”
Dairy farmers will also gain because it will now be much easier to dispose of barren cows intended for over thirty months scheme, he adds.
“The measures dont answer all the problems, but they are a welcome first step.”
In another welcome move, which came into effect on 4 December, pigs and cattle in foot-and-mouth-free counties will no longer require an inspection by a vet prior to movement, unless the animals are going to slaughter for export.