The FUW’s central dairy committee has branded a two day delay to the introduction of quarantine units in Wales as a miniscule step in the right direction compared with what is needed ahead of the show season.
The Welsh Government recently extended the deadline by which around 6,000 animal isolation facilities would become legally redundant and have to be replaced by certified quarantine units – but only from the 10th of June to the 12th of June.
Farmers were written to regarding the changes in April, and again in mid May, but application forms for quarantine units were not available until 10th May.
“The two day delay is clearly welcome for those attending shows on the 10th and 11th of June, but on the 12th the problem rears its head again,” said FUW President Glyn Roberts.
“We have asked for the implementation date to be moved to the autumn to allow more time for people to understand the new system and get certified, and to avoid the main show period.
“The extremely proscriptive nature of the rules means these units take time to build, and establishment costs are high – in addition to certification costs.”
Mr Roberts said the committee were extremely concerned that those who fail to establish quarantine units and get them certified in time would be unable to overcome problems caused by the six-day standstill rule where shows were held within days of each other.
“Many people have contacted me raising these concerns, and there are real worries that people will pull entries out of smaller shows in order to prioritise the large ones,” added Mr Roberts.
The FUW had made it clear in its response to a Welsh consultation on introducing quarantine units that abolishing established isolation units was a major concern, and that the onerous and burdensome nature of the rules would be an obstacle for many.
“Our concerns are now exacerbated by the rapid timetable for introduction, so delaying implementation by a few months would be a very sensible move,” said the Union President.