MAFF announced Friday (9 March) the introduction of a scheme which allows limited local movements of livestock under licence for welfare reasons.

There are two types of licence available:

– an occupational licence will allow repeated movements of animals (for example for milking or farrowing/lambing) between parts of split premises within 0.5km;.

– a local movement licence will allow “one off” transportation of animals within a 5km radius “as the crow flies” and in any case no more than 10km distance actually travelled.

Occupational licences will be available in the whole of the country except within 3 km of infected premises; local movement licences will only be available outside Infected Areas. In both cases there must have been no inward movement of susceptible species for 21 days, and the endorsement of a private vet will be needed to confirm the welfare need.

Baroness Hayman, Animal Health Minister today said:

“The considerable animal welfare difficulties which some farmers have faced due to the ban on the movement of livestock are fuly recognised.

“I must continue to emphasise that controlling and eradicating this disease remains our first priority. However the Minister and I have been advised by the Chief Veterinary Officer, Jim Scudamore, that it is possible for us at this stage to allow limited and controlled local movement for welfare reasons between premises in the same occupancy, without compromising our disease control measures.

“We are well aware that this doesn’t meet all the problems which farmers are experiencing. However longer journeys such as those to bring ewes about to lamb from winter quarters back to their home farm pose greater difficulties. We will take the Chief Veterinary Officer’s advice on when it would be possible to address these movements. The issue remains under active consideration.”

Notes for Editors

1. Full details of the scheme including application forms and rules for eligibility are being placed on the MAFF Website Friday (9 March), and will be available from MAFF Regional Service Centres (and from local offices in Scotland and Wales).

2. Applications can be sent to these offices by post or fax, and will be processed as quickly as possible. Immediately, farmers and keepers should be contacting their private vet for the necessary advice on their welfare problem. published a feature on foot and mouth. To read it, click here.