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Calls for Welsh Government to review quarantine units situation

Entries in livestock classes across Wales’ local agricultural shows could be down this season, after less than 100 applications for an alternative livestock movement system have been received by Welsh Government.


Hannah   Park

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Hannah   Park
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Calls for Welsh Government to review quarantine units situation

Quarantine units (QUs) came into force in Wales in September 2017, replacing the former isolation facilities as an exemption to the six-day-standstill for cattle, sheep and goats.

 

Farmers wishing to move livestock off their holding during a period where they would normally be under six-day-standstill rules, commonly the case during peak show season for some, must have a QU in place.

Farm holdings can have up to two QUs, at a cost of £172.80 including VAT for 18 months (one unit) or £244.80 (two units) and is one of the areas the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) have raised calls for concern.

 

Deputy president Brian Thomas said: “The principle of isolating animals when they come on to a farm is one that should be followed wherever possible, and we had the opportunity of making it second nature by introducing a workable new system.

 

"Unfortunately, the cost and impractical nature of the rules and the movement reporting requirements represent a major obstacle to achieving this.”

 

Mr Thomas has called for Welsh Government to ‘view the rules at the earliest possible opportunity’, which it has agreed to do after the 2018 show season.

 

Quarantine units (QUs) - what you need to know

What is a QU?

  • QUs provide livestock keepers in Wales with an exemption to the six-day-standstill rule for cattle, sheep and goats. The exemption does not apply to pigs.

What happens to the six-day-standstill?

  • The six-day-standstill rule remains in force. Farmers can either use an approved QU to manage additional movements or adhere to six-day rules across the whole holding.

When did QUs come in?

  • QUs replaced the Approved Isolation Facilities in September 2017. The former can no longer be used as a as an exemption to the six-day-standstill

How to apply for a QU?

  • An application needs to be sent Quality Welsh Food Certification Ltd, which can provide standards and operational rules to set up a QU to be reviewed and certified.

Where can a QU be set-up?

  • QUs can be either outdoors, indoors, or a combination of both providing they meet the requirements and operational rules.

How do I use a QU?

  • QUs can be used to manage movements to and from shows. If an animal attends a licensed show returns to a QU, it can attend subsequent, consecutive licensed shows by leaving and returning via the QU. Six-day-standstill rules will only need to be applied to the animal in the QU following its return from the last show.
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