Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Animal movement and transport...Red tape

I do believe in 'doing things right'. In general I believe laws are made for the good of all, but sometimes they are so complicated that they are either open to misunderstanding or ignored. I won't break the law it's just not something I do but understanding the new animal transport regulations is somewhat confusing ! Transport not movement.

Apparently I am allowed to transport weaners in the back of a van rather than a trailer as long as the van is cleaned before and after, the crate is secured and large enough for the animals and there is plenty of ventilation. All common sense stuff that you would hope would be carried out as a matter of course.
Then the distance you are travelling comes into question, again regulations make sense as the welfare of the animal comes first and you have to draw the line somewhere. However understanding quite what you can and can't do isn't that straight forward.
If you are transporting animals over a distance of 40 miles you need a transport license, unless it is for 'uneconomic activity'. Some say raising a few weaners for your own consumption is, some say not. If you have one person per animal being transported a license is not needed.
There is more...further reading on the link below.

So for us, if we wanted to collect four weaners from a seller 40+ miles away in the van we would have to do it in two journeys, as the van is only a two seater therefore only two pigs at once. However this wouldn't be possible as once you have moved pigs onto your holding you aren't allowed to move any other pig on or off for 20 days. If you did want to wait 20 days and then get two more weaners, that isn't advisable as mixing pigs of different litters and ages creates it's own problems.

We are fortunate that our youngest son holds transport licenses for sheep, pig, cattle and horses so if it came to it he could accompany either my husband or myself, but the law really isn't clear.

The movement licenses and restriction are much more straight forward, sometimes frustrating but clear to understand and there for a good reason.
All animals have to be moved with a license. A copy is sent to Trading standards, a copy kept by the owner, another by the transporter and finally one by the receiver. The movement must then be entered into the movement book of both the owner and receiver. The receiver is then on a standstill. As mentioned above if pigs are moved onto your holding you are on a 20 day standstill for any pig coming on or off your land. For sheep it's 6 days, although we always say a week.

Simple and straight forward, if sometimes restrictive. If only the transport one was as clear.


Anonymous said...

ah now - I though you were alright moving animals *on* to your holding, just not off for 20 days....
but i could be wrong... confusing ...

Sandra said...

Do you know I think you are right! All this time I have been trying to juggle when to get the new ewe,the bottle lamb and the pigs.
I'll double check (no offence) but I think you have just made my life a lot simpler : ) Thank you.

Pauline said...

hello annie

it is going to get worse if DEFRA has it's way. we found out yesterday they are considering a tax on animals, per year. from something like 4 pence per chicken to a tenner for cattle and of course horses...adrian found it in the horse and hound website. you certainly can't find it wading through the DEFRA website.

Sandra said...

I find the DEFRA site very difficult to use. I have found info. on there - not bookmarked it and just can't find it again.

I've heard mention of the tax before. Not good news, especially for your charity.

Anonymous said...

do let me know if i am right about bringing them on... we are hoping to get some sheep soon....

Sandra said...

I'll try to find out this week end.You are clear to move sheep onto your holding after 6 days, even if you have moved pigs on recently - the 20 day standstill only applies pig to pig.

What are you hoping to get? Next weekend we are planning to get the replacement shearling...all being well.