This consultation ended 12 February 2016.
Details of outcome
This consultation invites your views on the introduction of quarantine units as an exemption to the current six day standstill arrangements for cattle, sheep and goats.
Livestock standstill rules were introduced following the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak. Prior to this no standstill period existed and movements of livestock were considered to be responsible for significant spread of disease. The current controls require that when livestock are moved onto a holding a standstill period on that holding is triggered preventing any livestock moving off the holding except direct to slaughter.
A number of exemptions to the standstill rules are allowed to enable specific business activities at certain times of the year. Whilst these exemptions could increase the risk of disease spread they are balanced against animal welfare and management needs. The standstill rules and exemptions are specified within the Disease Control Order 2003.
The “Working Smarter” Report was commissioned in 2011 to investigate the regulatory burden placed on farmers and land managers. It highlighted the unpopularity of the six day standstill rules for cattle sheep and goats. The many exemptions were also considered complicated and difficult to understand.
We acknowledged that the rules could be simplified. We have been working with the farming industry operational partners and other stakeholders to develop an acceptable improvement to the current standstill rules. The proposals developed and presented in more detail within the consultation are for a general standstill exemption for farms using quarantine units.