David Lidington: Rules put farmers under intolerable strain

Commenting on reports that many farmers are breaking rules introduced to
prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease, David Lidington MP, Shadow
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

"This news comes as no surprise. The underlying problem is that rules
introduced as emergency measures during foot and mouth are still in place
and are placing farmers under intolerable strain. Many find it impossible to
comply with the 20-day rule and still make a living.

"It has been seventeen months since the last outbreak of foot and mouth
disease. The Government has had plenty of time to sit down with the industry
and work out movement controls that provide security against disease as well
as allowing farmers and livestock markets to continue to do business.

"The Government is constantly saying that it is not possible to have one
hundred per cent security at our ports to prevent disease entering the
country. Farmers and market operators feel that the Government is subjecting
them to a standard of control that ministers are unwilling to apply at the
ports. Livestock farmers have long been telling Conservatives that they
could cope with a shorter standstill period and it is time for ministers to
put this in place."

For further information please contact Laura Chisholm on 0207 984 8084 or
0797 467 6060