Welsh Rules Cause Problems

Animals from the bluetongue protection zone can now be moved into Wales for slaughter but many abattoirs are reluctant to take the livestock.

The strict conditions attached to the movement make it infeasible for many Welsh abattoirs to accept stock from the protection zone. In particular, the conditions requiring that all animals are in the abattoir by three in the afternoon and the requirement for animals to come through a collection centre are problematic.

"Welsh processors have empathy with farmers in the South East but as things stand they just won't be able to take their livestock," said Dunbia procurement manager Wynn Williams.

"Animals would usually be brought in the night before, kept in the lairage and slaughtered the next day.

"Under the new conditions, however, the animals must be in by 3pm and slaughtered before dusk. That means that any abattoir only has six or seven hours to get the livestock to the abattoir and killed, which is unrealistic.

"There are no guidelines as to what would happen if a lorry broke down or something went wrong. At the end of the day, for many abattoirs it just won't be worth the risk."