By James Garner
NEW livestock trading arrangements were put into place in Scotland this week, where most markets in disease-free areas are due to open their doors from 1 September.
It is widely believed that other UK regions will adopt similar rules when markets resume later in the year.
But there will be extra costs involved with the new arrangements, as every animal, whether sold through a market, straight to slaughter or privately, will have to be individually identified and all its movements recorded.
Once sold, as the rules currently stand, neither cattle nor sheep would be allowed to move again until they were ready for slaughter.
But there has been some back-tracking by the Scottish Executive and some insiders expected an announcement towards the end of the week that would exempt cattle from the one movement rule as early as mid-September.
The 21-day rule remains, so if farmers buy animals, whether privately or in a market, and take them to a holding with stock, no animals can move until three weeks have passed.
Markets in England and Wales look set to remain closed for some time.
The anticipated announcement on animal movements and markets opening in some areas from September has not been forthcoming.