Livestock movement controls were first introduced after the foot and mouth disease outbreak (FMD) in 2001.
Before that no standstill period existed, and multiple long-distance movements of livestock were considered to be responsible for significant spread of disease.
The Disease Control (Wales) Order 2003 requires a standstill period to be triggered when moving cattle, sheep, goats and/or pigs onto a holding. This prevents any of those species moving off that holding, except directly to slaughter.
The standstill period for cattle, sheep and goats is six days; the ‘Six Day Standstill Rule’ (6DSS) and the standstill period for pigs is 20 days.
The 6DSS rule exists to safeguard the health status of the national flock and herd, and to reduce the risk of a highly infectious disease outbreak.
Farms observing the 6DSS rule protect the rural community and its economy, along with its trade and show activities, from the far-reaching and catastrophic effects of a disease outbreak.
Farms adhering to the 6DSS rule also play a vital role in slowing the potential spread of disease. This allows the rural community, Welsh Government and its delivery partners to locate, isolate and eradicate diseases as quickly as possible.
Welsh Government worked closely with the farming industry to simplify the rules around animal movements and design a scheme, which provides farmers with the option allowing the greatest flexibility of movement for trade, whilst maintaining effective disease control.
In September 2017, Welsh Government introduced the Quarantine Unit (QU) scheme. This exemption to the 6DSS is used for cattle, sheep and goats.