MARCH 11, 2008: Farmers in the bluetongue zones have lessthan a week to move their livestock before tough movement restrictionsare reintroduced.

The vector-free season ends at midnight onFriday, March 15 and farmers are being urged to move their livestock asearly as possible before the deadline.

Movement restrictions thatwere in place before December last year will then come into force,imposing strict rules on the movement of susceptible animals.

Therestrictions will limit the movement of livestock in the bluetonguezones and will have a marked effect on shows, events and markets overthe next few months.

With susceptible livestock unable to leavethe zones and animals in the free areas unable to enter, shows andevents will be limited on what livestock can attend, whilst farmerswill be limited in which markets they can use.

The vector free season began on December 20, relaxing the movement restrictions whilst midge activity was at its lowest.

Duringthe three month period, all animals were subject to pre-movementtesting, with a further 40 infected premises being identified as aresult.

This week, the number of cases broke the 100 mark, with the number of confirmed cases in England and Wales now standing at 101.

Theserestrictions are those that were in place before December 20. They comeinto force on March 16 and farmers hoping to move livestock are advisedto do so in the coming days before the restrictions are imposed.

What you can not do:

•    Susceptible livestock cannot move from a Bluetongue Surveillance Zone or a Protection Zone into a free area.

•    Livestock cannot be moved from the Protection Zone to the Surveillance Zone

What you can do:

•Livestock can be moved from the Surveillance Zone to the ProtectionZone, but those animals would subsequently not be able to leave theProtection Zone.

• Movements out of bluetongue zones directly toan approved slaughterhouse are permitted. These must take place afterdusk and before dawn, to avoid moving whilst midge activity is at itshighest.

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