Dealing new Quarantine Unit regime Welsh livestock

Dealing with the new Quarantine Unit regime for Welsh livestock

Livestock farmers in Wales are being urged to sort out new Quarantine Units as soon as possible.

From today (September 11), producers can choose to establish QUs on their holdings to manage livestock movements. If they don’t, all stock must continue to adhere to Six Day Standstill (6DSS) rules on the whole holding.

The Welsh Government’s new QU system will make around 6,000 existing isolation facilities legally redundant. These were free to set up, whereas a single QU field will cost £172.80 for 18 months, while two QU fields will cost £244.80 (with VAT). These payments will be used to fund inspections. Cardiff believes QUs will give farmers greater flexibility and help prevent the spread of disease.

Rural affairs secretary Lesley Griffiths said: “Each individual livestock keeper will be able to decide which approach – QUs or Six Day Standstill – best meets their requirements.”

With some 61 rules to observe, the industry fears QUs are too prescriptive and say establishment costs will be high – in addition to certification costs. Many also worry the expense will deter livestock exhibitors from attending agricultural shows that are tightly bunched together. Shows in August – the height of the show season – are likely to be particularly badly affected .

Wales’ chief vet Christianne Glossop insisted that QUs were developed at the request of, and in close collaboration with, the farming industry.

She added: “I am confident the additional flexibility available from Monday addresses issues raised by the industry around the Six Day Standstill whilst protecting against the spread of disease”.

Why have a Quarantine Unit (QU)?
QUs provide livestock keepers with an exemption to the six day standstill (6DSS) arrangements for cattle, sheep and goats. The exemption does not apply to pigs.
Movements into a QU will not trigger a 6DSS on the main holding, allowing animals to be moved off the main holding while incoming animals observe the 6DSS requirements in a QU.

Livestock keepers can choose between using approved QUs to manage the movements of cattle, sheep and goats or adhering to the 6DSS on their whole holding.

When is it happening?
The application window opened on 10 May 2017 with all available certificates being issued provisionally from the September 11, 2017.

Can I still use my Approved Isolation Facility?
‘Fraid not. Once the QU system is implemented, Approved Isolation Facilities can no longer be used as an exemption to the 6DSS. However pig keepers can continue to use Approved Isolation Facilities to manage pig movements.

How do I apply for a QU?
Contact the Certification Body, Quality Welsh Food Certification Ltd ([email protected] or 01970 636688).

How long does QU certification last for?
QUs are certified for 18 months, after which recertification is required. So too is another fee.

Where should my QU be located?
QUs can be either outdoors, indoors, or a combination of both.

Can I have more than one QU?
Yes, farmed holdings can have up to two QUs and each QU can comprise up to two sites. Where a single QU comprises two sites, both sites are treated as one for the purposes of the 6DSS, and allocated the same CPH number.

If animals are brought onto one site then both sites are deemed to be in operation.
If animals are part way through a quarantine period on one site when animals are introduced to the other site, the 6DSS restarts on both sites.

For two QUs to be independently managed they must be certified separately, with separate charges. Each QU will be allocated a separate CPH number.

Will my QU be inspected?
QUs will be subject to unannounced inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). If non-compliant, QUs may be suspended or revoked. Livestock keepers have a right to appeal.

What happens if an animal is born in a QU?
Fitness-to-travel rules normally prohibit the transport of pregnant females where 90% of the gestation period has already passed.

However, animals can be be transported short distances, under 50km, if the journey is to improve the conditions of birth.

Animals must be tagged before they leave the holding where they were born.
When QUs are being used for quarantine purposes they are considered a separate holding to the main holding. This means separate ear tags will be required for any animals born in a QU.

All QU CPHs will be allocated unique herd/flock marks, should ear tags be needed. The herd/flock marks will be on the QU certificate.

 

Source: Daily Post

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