Julie wants quick end to the six-day livestock rule

Julie P�rksen with Texel lambs at her father's farm, Gallows Hill, Cambo.
Julie P�rksen with Texel lambs at her father's farm, Gallows Hill, Cambo.

Farmer’s daughter Julie Pörksen is demanding swifter action following Defra’s promise to phase out the six-day rule.

The Government is to phase out the six-day livestock movement rule in 2017. But Julie, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Berwick in the next general election, is now asking for a speedier end to this rule.

Tim Farron, Lake District Lib Dem MP, secured the commitment to phase out the rule when he met George Eustice MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment to press for an urgent re-think.

The stand still rule was put in place to reduce the risk of another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The rule says ‘movements must not take place from any premises where one or more animals have been moved in the six-day period prior to the movement’, except direct slaughter.

The Government commissioned the MacDonald review to look at this matter in 2011, which recommended more than 200 ways of reducing unnecessary red tape. Many farmers believe axing this rule is long overdue.

Julie said: “Defra’s commitment is fantastic news for livestock farmers. As the daughter of a sheep farmer I know just how restrictive this rule is on operating an efficient livestock farming business.

“I am pleased that Tim Farron has gained such a result for farmers. Given that the Government has agreed to phase out the rule, there is no reason why this cannot be done quickly. I have written to Defra ministers to try and bring this forward so that farmers do not have to wait until 2017 to be free from these impractical rules.