Easing movement restrictions on a regional basis will bring anomalies

UK - Establishing a risk-based regionalisation system to allow trading to restart after foot and mouth looks like a sensible way forward on the face of it, writes Livestock Editor Jonathan Long.
calendar icon 22 September 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
But, the suggestion, which could see Surrey and all adjoining counties classified as high-risk, with the remainder of the UK as low risk, creates a range of anomalies.

The surrounding counties, while not livestock dense are populated by pockets of livestock on ground less suited to arable production. Large tracts of Romney Marsh for instance are still densely populated by sheep.

And while Kent and Sussex may share borders with Surrey, their furthest most points are some distance from the infected premises. Indeed, Ramsgate, Kent, is more than 80 miles from the cluster of infected premises around Egham and Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex, is more than 70 miles away.

Travelling both these distances in other directions would take you as far as Bristol and Peterborough, respectively.

Beckley, East Sussex-based sheep producer and haulier Frank Langrish said the system would be workable for a short period of time, but reckoned movements out of the south east are already weeks behind normal.

“In a normal season we’d haul between 10,000 and 15,000 sheep to the south west for different clients, with some stock going as far as Cornwall.”

Source: FWi
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