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Foot and Mouth Disease: Transport

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to relax the 20 day standstill rule for livestock outside the foot and mouth controlled zones. (157421)

[holding answer 15 October 2007]: Movement of any susceptible animal from a premises in Great Britain is currently not permitted if any susceptible animal has been moved on to that premises in the 20 days before the date of the intended move unless a susceptible animal is moving direct to slaughter.

However, since 4 October, in the foot and mouth disease (FMD) low risk area and the bluetongue protection and control zones, breeding rams may be brought on to a premises that has an isolation unit with a current, valid approval under the Disease Control (England) Order 2003. This is an exception to the 20 day standstill required for farm to farm movements.

Since 9 October, pigs have also been able to move unlimited distances without a standstill between two premises approved under Article 14 of the Pigs Records, Identification and Movement Order 2007. There is no need for pre-movement veterinary inspection but this does require one working day’s notice to the local Animal Health office.

On 12 October, DEFRA announced the intention to lift the FMD Protection Zone in Surrey on Wednesday 17 October. DEFRA also announced the intention to lift all movement restrictions in England, outside of the FMD Risk Area, to coincide with this lifting of the Protection Zone. From this point forwards, there will be a reversion to the six day standstill rule.

These decisions have been taken following extensive surveillance in the area, and are in line with EU rules.