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Farron secures promise to change the six day movement rule

March 19, 2014 10:10 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has been able to secure a promise to change the ‘six day movement rule’. Yesterday, the government agreed to phase out the six day rule in 2017.Tim met with George Eustice MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment yesterday to press for a urgent re-think on the six day rule. Tim was told that the Government plans to phase out the rule by 2017.

Defra's six-day stand-still rule was put in place to reduce the risk of another out-break of foot-and-mouth disease, which devastated agricultural life in the region in 2001 and also struck in 2007. Many farmers believe these rules, which are still in place today, are now outdated.

The rule says 'movements must not take place from any premises where one or more animals have been moved in the six day period prior to the movement', except direct to slaughter. The government commissioned the MacDonald review to look at this matter in 2011. The review recommended more than 200 ways of reducing unnecessary "red tape".

Many farmers in the region believe now is the time to axe the rule in order to help their businesses.

Tim said: "This announcement is very welcome news. I am pleased that I am able to take local farmers concerns to Westminster and change the law. I am still pushing for the six day rule to be scrapped sooner, but knowing when it will be phased out is very useful for farmers.

"Currently the six day standstill rule serves no purpose, apart from making life difficult for farmers. If we were to experience a new outbreak of the disease, then it would be essential to have the rule back in order to protect farmers and their animals. However there is no need to have this rule during 'peace-time'."