Plans to relax the six-day standstill rule, which governs livestock, have been welcomed by the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).
The relaxation, which will apply from 4 March this year, was announced by the agriculture minister Michelle O’Neil and followed a Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) consultation on the issue last year.
UFU president Harry Sinclair said the union was always looking for ways to "reduce the burden on farmers". He added: "The minister’s announcement is a practical move at a time when there is no specific risk of disease. However we acknowledge that a longer standstill period may be introduced should the disease situation change. This policy change will be welcomed by the industry, as it should simplify management on-farm which will be of help during this difficult period.
"While the minister has relaxed the six day standstill rule, it is imperative that farmers continue to apply tight biosecurity measures on farms to minimise the disease risk to stock."