Welsh modify foot and mouth movement restrictions

The Welsh Assembly has bowed to pressure from farming unions and modified the foot and mouth farm to farm movement licence that came into force at midnight on September 24.

The move followed a day of telephone calls and video conferencing during which the unions protested about the plan to ban the movement of animals for slaughter from farms receiving susceptible livestock.

A Farmers Union of Wales spokesman said representatives who attended a stakeholders meeting in Cardiff had left unaware that the 20 day standstill would apply to resident animals that were ready for slaughter.

“It was assumed that the restriction would only cover moving animals from receiving farms to other units,” he said.

“As soon as we saw the statement issued by the minister after the talks we protested that this would have a devastating impact on cash flow.”

Elin Jones, the assembly’s rural affairs minister, agreed to update the licence to permit the movement of resident animals to slaughter within the 20 day standstill period.

“I am very grateful for the help of stakeholders in the detailed discussions throughout the day that have allowed us to improve arrangements for animal movements during this difficult time,” Ms Jones said.