ARMERS are being reminded of the new rules on Quarantine Units (QUs), which replaced Isolation Facilities, ahead of the show season.
“Those wishing to regularly show animals during the show season without falling foul of the six day standstill rule now have no choice but to set up an approved Quarantine Unit,” said FUW deputy president Brian Thomas.
While the FUW has long been a supporter of changes which would reduce the pressures caused by the six-day standstill rule during busy trading periods as well as the show season, it was one of many industry bodies which highlighted the obstacles represented by high establishment costs and the strictness of the new rules, and that the replacement of isolation facilities could cause major problems for Welsh shows
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, and at the last count less than 100 farms have signed up for the new system.”
Mr Thomas said Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths had recognised the potential for problems during the 2017 show season, and had made the welcome decision to delay the introduction of QUs until after the summer.
“However, the potential for problems in 2018 remains, and given the poor take up we have asked the Welsh Government to review the rules at the earliest possible opportunity.”
While the Welsh Government has agreed to undertake such a review, it has decided that it will not do so until after the show season, meaning those wishing to show animals but avoid the problems caused by the six-day standstill need to set up an approved QU over the coming weeks and months.
Those wishing to establish a QU should contact Quality Welsh Food Certification on 01970 636688 or visit their website at www.qwfc.co.uk/index.php/en/quarantine- unit-scheme.