Letter to all livestock farmers in England and Wales - signature Lord Whitty

September 2001

Foot and Mouth Disease : Autumn Movement Controls


1. On 28 August I announced the outline of arrangements for restricted
movements of livestock this autumn. I am writing to you now to let you know
the detailed arrangements of the overall policy so that you know how this
affects you.

2. In normal circumstances, we all know Autumn is the busiest time of year
for the movement of livestock. But this year circumstances are far from
normal. Our overriding priority is to stamp out foot and mouth disease. We
must minimise the risk of the disease flaring up and emerging in new areas
or re-appearing in old ones. Movements of animals pose a risk of spreading
disease. We want to do our best to enable an increase in the movement of
stock. But we have concluded that we can only do this if strict conditions
are imposed.

3. You should therefore be aware that you are unlikely to be able to move
your animals in the normal way
under these arrangements, and that you may
need to change your trading and farming practices to reflect this.

4. I very much appreciate the efforts which farmers have already made - and
indeed continue to make - to eradicate this disease. The system which we are
putting in place for the Autumn seeks to balance the need for increased
movements against the overriding priority to stamp down on FMD, and
therefore seeks to minimise risks. Your cooperation in these exceptional
circumstances will be essential to achieve the common goal of eradicating
foot and mouth as soon as possible. We must continue to work together to see
the end of this awful disease.

Autumn Movements - Scope of the arrangements
5. The arrangements outlined in this letter cover all movements for
commercial, husbandry or welfare reasons except for movements direct to
slaughter. Current arrangements for the licensed movements of animals to
slaughter, whether for human consumption or under the Livestock Welfare
(Disposal) Scheme and the Over Thirty Months Scheme (OTMS), are not affected
and continue unchanged for the present.

6. The Movement Control Areas currently in force across a large area of
Northern England and in Powys will be removed when the new Autumn movement
arrangements come into force. However, Infected Area and Restricted Infected
Area controls, along with notices served on individual premises, will remain
in force.

7. All movements covered by the new Autumn arrangements will require a
licence application to be made through a local authority.
We will be
publishing fuller details on how to apply for a licence shortly. Divisional
Veterinary Managers of DEFRA will continue to deal with all aspects of
movements within Restricted Infected Areas and premises subject to movement
restrictions under Form D.

FMD status of Counties

 


8. Counties and districts throughout Great Britain have been classified
according to their disease status. Movements will be restricted on the basis
of the disease status of whole counties or unitary authority or metropolitan
district areas.
Counties, Unitary Authorities and Metropolitan Districts
will be classified as either:

High Risk counties
At Risk counties, or
FMD Free counties
.

 


9. Details of which classification applies as of today (11 September) to
each county etc. are attached and are available on the DEFRA website
(www.defra.gov.uk) and will be updated on the website effective from each
Tuesday.
The next important changes are expected to apply from 18 September.
If you do not have access to our website, please contact your local
authority, Animal Health Office or NFU Regional Office for the status of the
area in which you farm, or the FMD Helpline on 0845 050 4141.

10. There are currently a number of Counties classified as At Risk. We are
carrying out an extensive programme of blood testing so that these counties
can be classified as FMD Free as soon as it is safe to do so.

11. If you are in a High Risk county which has a substantial Infected Area
or a Restricted Infected Area - Cumbria, Durham, North Yorkshire,
Northumberland and Powys - the previous weight of FMD infection means that
more intensive testing of sheep flocks is required before we can be
confident about the absence of hidden disease and movement control can be
relaxed.
Special arrangements will also apply to Devon, which is classified
as an At Risk county, but where there is a large sheep population, a heavy
weight of previous infection and where blood testing of sheep needs to
continue. It is hoped that this process in Devon will be complete by the end
of September.

12. At present classifications relate to County units. We are considering
whether larger counties can be split to allow part of them to be
reclassified.

Start Dates
13. The dates for starting the new arrangements are as follows.

  Cattle Pigs Sheep, Goats & Camelids
Free Counties Sep 17  Sep17 Sep 17
At Risk Counties Sep 24 Sep 24 Oct 1
High Risk Counties Sep 24 Sep 24 Oct 1

It is vital that you appreciate your role in the process, and that you
retain realistic expectations of what can be done given the huge amount of
work which your local authority will be dealing with.

Transitional arrangements - Local Movement Licences and Longer Distance
Movement Licences


14. Applications under the new system may be made to Local Authorities from
17 September for the movement of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and camelids
from free counties.

 

From 24 September, applications may be made in respect
of cattle and pigs in high risk and at risk counties. For sheep, goats and
camelids in high risk or at risk counties, a blood test will be required
before movement is allowed, and for them the new system will not start until
1 October.

Where animals in this category need urgently to move before the
end of September for welfare reasons, applications should be made to DEFRA
under the Local Movement Scheme and the Long Distances Movement Scheme. Such
movements will be restricted to within county boundaries.

 

From 1 October Local Movement and Longer Distance Movement Licences will no longer be
available.

 

Applications for the urgent welfare movement of sheep should
therefore be made now. All applications received under these schemes up to 1
October will be processed.

Occupational Movement Licences
15. These will continue to be available from DEFRA Animal Health Offices as
at present.

Livestock Markets and Farm Sales


16. After much examination we have reluctantly concluded that it will not be
possible yet to permit the reopening of livestock markets in England and
Wales. The possibility of reopening cattle markets will be kept under
review. Farm sales, defined as the gathering of more than two people on a
livestock farm in connection with the sale of animals, remain prohibited for
the present.

Farm to farm movements of livestock
17. Details of where livestock can be moved and the conditions that apply to
them can be found in the enclosed Annexes. There is an annex for cattle, one
for pigs and another for sheep, goats and camelids. There is also a summary
page and a list of local authorities, together with a map showing their Foot
and Mouth Disease status at 11 September 2001.

18. All movements will be subject to biosecurity controls. Where the
movement is to take place over a distance of 10km or less, all vehicles will
be required to be cleansed and disinfected. Where the movement is greater
than 10km, vehicles will be required to be cleansed and disinfected and
secured with a numbered seal at an approved cleansing and disinfection
centre.

Veterinary Inspection


19. All livestock to be moved must be inspected by a veterinary surgeon in
the 24 hours prior to movement. You will be responsible for arranging the
veterinary inspection, which has to be carried out by a vet who is
designated as a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI) by DEFRA. DEFRA will meet
the cost of the LVI inspection.

20. In High Risk and At Risk counties there will also need to be blood
testing of sheep, goats and camelids before movement.
See details in the
individual species annexes. We will be publishing details shortly to explain
to sheep, goat and camelid farmers in the high risk and at risk counties how
the system of blood testing will work.

21. From 11 September rams and billy goats to be moved in high risk and at
risk counties will each have to be blood tested, individually identified and
examined by an LVI.

Animal Identification


22. Identification of animals will be required, as will be the keeping of
accurate records of animals moving onto and off a holding. You will,
therefore, be required to record the identity of animals moving onto or off
your holding on the day that the movement takes place. Details for each of
the species are given in the annexes.

Journey Limits


23. Journeys will be subject to a time limit of 9 hours where there are two
drivers, and 4= hours where there is a single driver. The movement must
begin within 24 hours of the LVI inspection. Multiple pick-ups and drop-offs
will not be permitted and there should be no scheduled stops other than to
change drivers. Within high risk counties, the journey route must not go
outside the county. You will be able to transit counties of a higher risk
status using trunk roads, or a motorway (e.g. from a free county to another,
passing through an at risk or high risk county). You will also be able to
transit a county of a lower risk status (e.g. from one at risk county to
another, passing through a free county).

Subsequent Movement Limits
24. Twenty-one day movement restrictions will apply to all permitted
movements except for pigs within closed breeding "pyramids". Otherwise no
susceptible stock will be permitted to leave a farm within 21 days of
susceptible stock moving on, except under licence for slaughter.

25. Sheep, goats and camelids will only be permitted to move once under the
autumn movement scheme, other than to slaughter, unless a veterinary
assessment suggests wholly exceptional and unforeseen circumstances have
arisen. Separate rules for rams and billy goats are being introduced on 11
September (paragraph 21).

Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme


26. The existing Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme remains available in
cases where it can be shown that there is an existing or imminent welfare
problem affecting livestock that cannot be resolved by other means. As we
have made clear, rates of payment under this Scheme will be reviewed
regularly.


Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme - Light Lambs
27. With the current ban on exports, and continuing restrictions on
movements on sheep, some farmers will not be able to find a market for their
lambs. Producers of light lambs which would normally be exported are likely
to be particularly affected. In order to forestall the welfare problems that
would arise if these lambs were left on farms over winter, a new scheme
extending the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme to cover lambs that cannot
be marketed and would otherwise face welfare problems was introduced from 3
September.

28. Should you wish to use this scheme you should apply direct to a
participating abattoir, who will arrange the collection and slaughter of the
lambs and pay you for them. Although the scheme is primarily intended to
deal with light lambs, it is open to all lambs from this year's crop.
Payments will be on a flat rate basis, set at #10 per head.
Lambs
slaughtered under this scheme will be disposed of in commercial landfill
sites or by rendering.
Details of the scheme, and of how to apply, have been
sent by the Intervention Board to all farmers who have claimed Sheep Annual
Premium this year.

Conclusion


29. We have sought to keep these provisions as simple as possible in the
circumstances. If however you need any further assistance, please feel free
to contact the FMD Helpline on 0845 0504141 between 8am and 10pm, seven days
a week. Your call will be charged at the local rate.

Thank you once more for your cooperation.

LARRY WHITTY

Autumn Movements

Cattle

1. Animal Identification


The identification system for cattle is based on the existing British Cattle
Movement Service (BCMS) arrangements. Movements must be notified to BCMS:

using passport movement cards,
through the CTS Online Website,
or by E-Mail using the Standard Interface Specification (SIS).


Please notify movements within 48 hours of any movement of cattle on or off
your holding.

2. Permitted Cattle Movements

For all movements you will need to apply for a licence through your local
authority
. Movements will be governed by the classification of counties as
FMD-free, at risk, or high risk. All cattle to be moved must be inspected by
a veterinary surgeon in the 24 hours prior to movement. You are responsible
for arranging the veterinary inspection, which has to be carried out by a
vet who is a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI). DEFRA will meet the cost of
the LVI inspection.

(a) Cattle in FMD-free counties

Cattle in these counties may be moved:


within the same county
to other FMD-free counties
to FMD at-risk counties
subject to a veterinary inspection of the cattle to be moved and a valid licence from the local authority.

Cattle in free counties may go via an approved collecting centre to a single destination.

Cattle from the free counties may not move into high risk counties, Infected Areas, or Restricted Infected Areas, but can transit through such counties or areas on major roads.

(b) Cattle in at-risk counties

Cattle in these counties may be moved:

within the same county
to other at risk counties
subject to veterinary inspection and a valid licence from the local
authority.


Cattle in at-risk counties may not be moved into free counties or into high
risk counties, Infected Areas or Restricted Infected Areas They may however
transit through high risk counties or Infected Areas/Restricted Infected
Areas on major roads.

(c) Cattle in FMD high risk counties

Cattle in these counties may move within the same county subject to
veterinary inspection and a valid licence. They may not move to other high
risk counties other than in exceptional cases, or to at-risk or free
counties. Nor may they move into an Infected Area/Restricted Infected Area,
even in the same county.

(d) Cattle in Infected Areas/Restricted Infected Areas

No movements of cattle will be permitted into or from an Infected Area or
Restricted Infected Area within a high risk county. However, stock will be
allowed to move under licence from the local authority within the same
Infected Area. Movements within Restricted Infected Areas are very limited
and are regulated by Divisional Veterinary Managers.

Pigs

1. Animal identification

All pig movements must comply with the requirements of the Pig (Records
Identification and Movement) Order 1995. You should ensure that the
temporary mark applied to the pig, cross referenced to the farm registers of
the holdings where the pig is moving from and to, lasts for a period of not
less than 21 days.

2. Permitted pig movements

For movements you will need to apply for a licence through your local
authority. Movements will be governed by the classification of counties as
FMD-free, at risk or high risk. All pigs to be moved must be inspected by a
veterinary surgeon in the 24 hours prior to movement. You are responsible
for arranging the veterinary inspection, which has to be carried out by a
vet who is a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI). DEFRA will meet the cost of
the LVI inspection.

(a) Pigs in FMD-free counties

Pigs in these counties may be moved:


within the same county
to other FMD-free counties
to FMD at-risk counties
to high risk counties (but not Infected Areas or Restricted Infected Areas)
provided animals are individually identified by ear tag or tattoo and
intended for breeding. It is preferable to use the export marking system,
i.e. "UK", the herd number and a unique identification number preceded by a
"P". However, other numbering systems will be acceptable as long as the
identification number is unique. The receiving farm in the high risk county
may receive only one such movement in a 3 month period.
These movements are subject to a veterinary inspection of the animals to be
moved and a valid licence from your local authority.

Pigs from FMD-free counties may not move into Infected Areas/Restricted
Infected Areas but may transit such areas on major roads.

(b) Pigs in FMD at-risk counties

Pigs in these counties may be moved:

within the same county
to other at risk counties
to high risk counties (but not Infected Areas or Restricted Infected Areas)


provided animals are individually identified by eartag or tattoo and intended for breeding. The receiving farm in the high risk county may receive only one such movement in a 3 month period.
These movements are subject to veterinary inspection and a valid licence from the local authority.

Pigs in at risk counties may not be moved into free counties or into
Infected Areas/Restricted Infected Areas. They may however transit through
high risk counties or Infected Areas/ Restricted Infected Areas on major
roads.

(c) Pigs in FMD high risk counties

Pigs in these counties may move within the same county subject to veterinary
inspection and a valid licence. They may not move to other high risk
counties other than in exceptional cases, or to at risk or free counties.
Nor may they move into an Infected Area or Restricted Infected Area, even in
the same county.

(d) Pigs in Infected Areas/Restricted Infected Areas

No movements of pigs will be permitted into or from an Infected Area or
Restricted Infected Area within a high risk county. However, pigs will be
allowed to move under licence from the local authority within the same
Infected Area. Movements within Restricted Infected Areas are very limited
and are regulated by Divisional Veterinary Managers.

Sheep, Goats and Camelids

1. Animal Identification

Prior to moving, all sheep and goats must be tagged with a flock/herd mark.
This must be done in one of the following ways:

7 Sheep and goats born on your holding must be marked according to the Sheep
and Goats Identification (England) Regulations 2000 in England, or the Sheep
and Goats Identification (Wales) Order 2000 in Wales. (SAGIO). Tags must
bear "UK" followed by a 6 digit flock mark e.g. UK 701234. You can use your
old alpha numeric tags until 31 December 2001. You can also use breed
society tags (as long as the system is registered with DEFRA) until 31
December 2001.

Any sheep or goat which was not born on your holding, even if it has a "UK"
tag from another holding, must be tagged with your flock mark preceded by
the letter "S" (it should not have the letters UK) before it leaves your
holding. N.B. This allows us to trace the sheep back to its last known
holding.

. In addition to the flock mark tagging requirements above, rams and billy
goats must be tagged or tattooed with a unique identification number. The
number can either be included on the flock mark tag or be shown on a
separate additional tag/tattoo. Any numbering system can be used as long as
it uniquely identifies the animal. The number must be entered in the farm
registers of the holdings where the animal is moving from and to.

Further points about sheep and goat tags:

. We have no preference for tag type or colour but you must avoid using red
(unless you are using a replacement tag under SAGIO).

. You can use a tag which also has additional management information
although this will not be recorded on the licence.

You must also comply with the existing recording and movement controls
required by the Sheep and Goats Identification (England) Order 2000 in
England and the Sheep and Goats Identification (Wales) Regulations 2000 in
Wales.

You will need to ensure that you have an adequate supply of tags to meet
these requirements. You should arrange with your normal ear tag supplier to
buy enough tags to cover the number of animals you intend to sell. You may
order from more than one supplier.

For camelids (llamas, alpacas, camels etc) records should be kept of the
holdings where the animals are moving from and to.

2. Permitted movements of sheep, goats and camelids

For all movements you will need to apply for a licence through your local
authority. Animals may only move once under these arrangements (other than
to slaughter) unless a veterinary assessment suggests wholly exceptional and
unforeseen circumstances have arisen. Movements will be governed by the
classification of counties as FMD-free, at risk or high risk. All stock to
be moved must be inspected by a veterinary surgeon in the 24 hours prior to
movement. You are responsible for arranging the veterinary inspection, which
has to be carried out by a vet who is a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI).
DEFRA will meet the cost of the LVI inspection. In high risk and at risk
counties, flocks and herds will also have to be blood tested before
movements will be licensed.

In high risk and at risk counties, a blood test result which shows no
evidence of exposure to FMD permits animals from that flock to move to up to
three destinations within a 14 day period of the test result being confirmed
by a Divisional Veterinary Manager (DVM) of DEFRA. In free counties, batches
of stock may also be moved to up to three destination in a 14 day period. In
all cases, movements have to take place within 24 hours of the inspection by
the LVI.

There are special arrangements for rams and billy goats. Each animal can
only move once. Animals from your farm will be permitted to move to more
than three destinations within a 14 day time limit, provided each animal to
be moved is individually identified and inspected by a veterinarian. In high
risk and at risk counties both the individual animals, and the flock/herd as
from 1 October, will have to be blood tested and a clear result obtained. In
FMD free counties neither flocks/herds nor individual male animals will need
to be tested but each animal to be moved will be subject to veterinary
inspection prior to movement.

(a) Stock in FMD-free counties

Stock in these counties may be moved once:

7 within the same county
7 to other FMD-free counties
7 to FMD-at risk counties

subject to veterinary inspection of the animals to be moved, and a valid
licence from local authority. No blood testing is required prior to
movement.

Animals from FMD-free counties may not move into high risk counties or
Infected Areas/Restricted Infected Areas but may transit such counties or
areas on major roads.

(b) Stock in FMD at-risk counties

Stock in these counties may be moved once:

7 within the same county
7 to other FMD at-risk counties

Subject to blood testing of the flock or herd, to veterinary inspection of
the animals to be moved, and a valid licence. This will come to you via
DEFRA who are responsible for arranging the blood testing. However, sheep
goats and camelids in Devon may only be moved within Devon for the present
until further serological testing of flocks and herds is completed.

Stock from FMD at-risk counties may not be moved to free counties or to high
risk counties. They may however transit through such counties and Infected
Areas/Restricted Infected Areas on major roads.

 


(c) Stock in FMD high risk counties

Animals in these counties may only move once, and within the same county,
subject to blood testing of the flock, to veterinary inspection of the
animals to be moved, and a valid licence. This will come to you via DEFRA
who are responsible for arranging the blood testing. They may not move to
other high risk counties other than in exceptional cases, or to at risk or
free counties. Nor may they move into an Infected Area or Restricted
Infected Area, even in the same county.

(d) Stock in Infected Areas/ Restricted Infected Areas

No movement of animals will be permitted into or from an Infected Area or
Restricted Infected Area within a high risk county.
However, animals will be
allowed to move once under licence from the local authority within the same
Infected Area.
Movements within Restricted Infected Areas are very limited
and are regulated by Divisional Veterinary Manager.

Summary of permitted livestock movements this Autumn*


*Excludes movements to slaughter for human consumption or under LWDS or
OTMS, where no change is envisaged.

Farm to Farm movements Cattle  Pigs  Sheep
FC to another FC and within same FC
FC to AR
FC/AR to HR X + X
FC/AR/HR to IA/RIA X X X
AR to another AR and within same AR    **
AR to FC X X X
HR within same HR    **
HR to different HR  X X X
HR to AR/FC X X X

Disease controls imposed on individual premises by notice, or by Infected
Area and/or Restricted Infected Area Orders, override the arrangements
summarised above.


All movements require a prior veterinary inspection.

Key:
 = Permitted
X = not permitted
FC = FMD Free Counties
AR = At Risk Counties
HR = High Risk counties (and Devon for sheep, goats, camelids only)
IA/RIA = Infected Area or Restricted Infected Area within a High Risk
County
** = Only from blood tested flock . Rams must be individually tested.
+ = Batches of pigs in which animals are individually identified may
move to HR counties but not Infected Areas, but the farm in the HR county
can receive only one such movement in a 3 month period.

Transitional arrangements and what happens if the IT fails?

Last week we formally confirmed to local authorities that we would repay all
costs which they directly incur as a result of their work on the Autumn
Movements Scheme. This will include staff costs, computers and
accommodation.

We are confident that the computer systems will be ready by the middle of
this week, and the local authorities in the "free counties" assure us that
they will be ready to start processing licences next Monday. That is the
good news. The less good is that although we are confident that we can
deliver the system, some local authorities are less confident that they can
install the resources (people, accommodation hardware and, most difficult of
all, the communications systems), to enable to start work on time.
So we
need a fall-back position.

Local Authorities will produce their own contingency plans. It will be
possible for licences to be produced manually
subject to local authorities
obtaining information from DVMs about disease status and other details
essential to issuing a licence.

To protect animal welfare, the Rural Development Service (RDS) will process
existing applications for welfare movement licences and will accept new
applications for movement on welfare grounds, but only if a producer is not
able to obtain a licence because their Local Authority is unable to issue
licences. In practice we expect the new Autumn Movement Scheme to be more
attractive to farmers because we will pay the costs of veterinary inspection
(farmers have to pay under the welfare scheme).

Applications for welfare movements starting in free counties will be
accepted up to Monday 24th September, and up to Monday 1st October in the
case of at-risk and high-risk counties and the affected areas.

 

ENDS