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O’Neill relaxes standstill rules for livestock movement

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill today announced her plans to relax six-day standstill rules which govern the movement of livestock from 4 March 2013.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013

This relaxation will reduce the burden on keepers and markets during periods where there is no specific risk of a disease. There must, however, be a six-day period between when an animal leaves a market and when it is returned to market.

The Minister said: “Following public consultation I have considered the responses from stakeholders and decided that the whole-farm six-day standstill restriction will be removed.

“I know that the relaxation of standstill will be welcomed by the industry and I ask for the support and co-operation of both keepers and market operators to make these arrangements work.

“I am also retaining the ability to reintroduce standstill at short notice, for a longer 13-day period, if the disease risk is heightened.”

The Minister concluded: “I intend to introduce a new system for the registration of livestock dealers later in 2013.”

The Department will shortly be writing to all Keepers and Market Operators about the changes.

Notes to editors:

  1. The changes will be implemented through the Disease Control (Standstill) Order (NI) 2013.
  2. This relaxation of standstill applies only to animal movements within the north and does not apply to movements to other Member States where a separate regime of residency is applied under EU legislation.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email: DARD Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.