HC Deb 18 June 2002 vol 387 c222W
Mr. Peter Ainsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will exempt agricultural shows from the 20-day standstill period for animal movements. [4346]

Margaret Beckett

[holding answer 7 May 2002]: The rules applicable to the movement of livestock to and from agricultural shows will be kept under review to ensure that they are proportionate to the disease risks involved. For the time being veterinary advice is that it remains appropriate for stock moving to a show either to respect any standstill on the premises of departure, and to impose a 20-day standstill on their return, or for the show animal(s) to be isolated for 20 days on their home premises before departure and after their return.

The 20-day standstill is at the centre of the interim livestock movement restrictions currently in force to guard against a future outbreak. Scientific and veterinary advice is that it aids detection of disease and slows disease spread. A number of exemptions from the standstill have been introduced, on veterinary advice, in order to help livestock farmers without causing an unacceptable increase in disease risk. These interim arrangements are currently under review, but whatever changes may be made to the interim rules this summer, the Government intend to take full account of any relevant findings from the FMD inquiries before it reaches a final view on the role that a 20-day standstill might play in the long-term controls over livestock movements.

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