Scots Relax Movement Controls Further

The Scottish Executive Rural Directorate has announced further relaxations to livestock movement controls in Scotland.

Scottish Ministers have introduced a general movement licence to be used for movements of older cattle to slaughter in slaughterhouses specifically approved to take these cattle, in line with the Older Cattle Disposal Scheme (OCDS)

Another general licence has been issued permitting more movements of pigs if an acute welfare problem exists, or will exist within seven days if the pigs are not moved.

The maximum distance for this movement is 50km but this can be extended to 100km if the destination farm has no livestock on it. A vet has to inspect the pigs just before movement and certify them as clear of foot-and-mouth disease.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has welcomed the moves towards relaxation of the controls. QMS chairman Donald Biggar said: "We welcome moves by the Executive to further relax the movement restrictions and we're looking forward to getting the industry back to normal as soon as it is safe to do so.

"All eyes will be turned to Brussels next week, and producers will be hoping for some good news coming out of the European standing committee meeting. The resumption of exports is fundamental to ensuring the future of the Scottish red meat sector, and is particularly critical to our sheep farmers.

"Until this happens, though, I cannot stress enough how important it is for Scotland's producers to be patient and continue to follow the biosecurity arrangements that are in place. While the risk of further outbreaks is reducing, the consequences of further or widespread outbreaks don't bear thinking about."