November 6: Defra has confirmed that the EU Commission and Member States have agreed a new decision which will allow the relaxation of current Foot and Mouth Disease export restrictions on meat and meat products.
The decision has split the UK into the following three areas;
FMD Free Export Area – Meat and products originating from susceptible animals in this area will be eligible for export under normal Community rules subject to certification. FMD Restricted Export Area – Meat and products originating from susceptible animals in this area will be eligible for export provided they meet certain conditions, including providing documentation confirming the completion of a 21 day standstill and residency period (7 day standstill in the case of pigs) FMD No Export Area – Meat and products originating from susceptible animals in this area cannot be allowed to be exported.
A map detailing these areas will be made available on the Defra website. This Decision is expected to come into force towards the middle of November, the current FMD Restricted Zone will fall when this occurs. Most of the restrictions will remain in place until mid December. A ban on exports of live animals of susceptible species to other Member States will remain. Bluetongue controls remain firmly in place. Defra are working closely with the Core Group and other stakeholders to design an implementation strategy that will enable the industry to meet the requirements laid out in the decision and facilitate the resumption of trade. The reduction in red tape for exports from the FMD Free Export Area and the enlargement of the area from which exports can take place should benefit many. However, those premises in the FMD No Export Area and the FMD Restricted Export Area will be subject to continued restrictions, both on exports and animal movements. Further guidance will be made available shortly. Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Fred Landeg, said:”We are acutely aware of the economic impacts of restrictions on farm businesses resulting from this disease outbreak. These changes will be a significant step in returning to business as usual for meat and meat products for most of Great Britain though they will mean more movement restrictions in the short term for some. This will however, help us to work towards re-establishing disease free status and the full resumption of exports. We hope that this advance warning of likely changes will help farm businesses plan for the coming months. ” Further information can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/footandmouth or via the Defra Helpline on 08459 335577 (open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday).