The National Sheep Association (NSA) has welcomed the announcement from Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths that new legislation on quarantine units in Wales will be delayed until later this year.
Following considerable pressure from NSA and other farming organisations including NFU Cymru, Farmers Union of Wales (FUW), the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) and several show and breed societies, the impending change from isolation units as they stand in Wales to quarantine units will now come into effect on Monday, September 11.
In a statement, Ms Griffiths said: “Following discussions with key farming and stakeholder organisations over recent days, I have decided isolation facilities may continue to be used by livestock keepers for agricultural shows and those wanting to move animals for breeding purposes, until September 11, when the new legislation on Quarantine Units will come into force.
“I am sure this approach will be of benefit to the agriculture summer shows and to livestock keepers who wish to display their animals at these important rural events.”
Individuals using existing, registered isolation units can continue as normal until September 11, after which approved quarantine units will need to be in place. Those wanting to show or sell livestock from this date, to avoid being closed down by the six-day standstill, are urged to apply for a quarantine unit in good time to avoid complications.
Phil Stocker, NSA’s chief executive, said: “NSA is delighted with the Cabinet Secretary’s decision to delay the implementation of quarantine units. The work Welsh Government and Quality Welsh Food Certification have done to accommodate industry concerns is welcome and we appreciate Lesley Griffiths having listened and responded to our fears of real damage to agricultural shows and our livestock industry.”