LEADING FUW members played a major part in “The Big Debate: keeping your flock secure, why and how” seminar at last month’s NSA Welsh Sheep event near Kerry, Newtown.
Union stalwart John Yeomans said: “It is important that we as farmers work with the government, but also that they work with us. Not just to jump through legislative hoops, but to keep diseases off our farms in a simple and achievable manner.
“This will make our stock more healthy, our businesses stronger and, of course, save both farmers and the country money and help open up opportunities for exports. “I think the six-day stand still should be on the livestock stock entering the holding and not close the business down by restricting all stock movements from that holding.
“We should have quarantine sheds and double fenced quarantine fields approved for oncoming stock to enter, thus allowing trading to continue particularly, but not exclusively, during the busy autumn sheep sale periods. “Quarantine accreditation or approval could be carried out by vets, farm assurance or field officers, when they are visiting the farm anyway. This would mean limited extra costs. “If specific grants were made available to double fence boundaries (where practical), this would help control disease spread, provide wildlife corridors so helping the environment, provide employment for local businesses selling fencing supplies and hedge plants and to fencing and hedging contractors or farm labour.
“I can only see positives in it. Whether it be something as sinister as Foot and Mouth, or lameness, or wormer resistance, we need to keep it out of our farms and our businesses.” FUW animal health and welfare committee chairman Catherine Nakielny said: “Effective biosecurity needs the industry to work together and to come up with effective and practical solutions. “We need to remember that biosecurity is about keeping our own stock healthy and we need to engage with service providers such as contractors, shearers and scanners to make sure we are reducing risk wherever possible.” Dr Nakierlny added: “Government also needs to play a role and now is an ideal time to support the industry with support for capital investments such as double fencing, portable pressure washers and vehicle disinfectant mats.”