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NFU lobbying has resulted in practical changes to regulations on the movement of fallen stock, drivers' hours and the disinfection of delivery vehicles which will help farmers during the foot and mouth crisis.

MAFF has agreed to amend the General Licence for the movement of animals in restricted zones to allow fallen stock to be transported to licensed incinerator plants, despite the blanket movement ban.

Previously, the General Licence only allowed movements to rendering plants, hunt kennels and knacker's yards, which was leading to a build up of carcasses waiting for incineration.

NFU Livestock Committee Chairman Les Armstrong said: "This should free up the system and allow knackermen in particular to move dead animals to an incinerator rather than stocking at the yard or refusing collection from farms outright."

The DETR has confirmed the emergency siutation permits temporary changes to
the rules on milk tanker drivers' hours to cover the additional time taken
for disinfection of the vehicle.

The NFU is also in talks with the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association to lobby for an exemption to the drivers' hours for other agricultural haulage vehicles like feed deliverers and livestock transport.

And in another exemption from haulage regulations, the DETR has agreed to allow drivers of agricultural vehicles to remove their mud flaps to make disinfection more effective and quicker.

The derogation is under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and is only for vehicles collecting or delivering essential items to farms while the current foot and mouth emergency measures are in place.

NFU Technical Services Chairman Marcus Themans said: "These are helpful practical changes to the regulations which should prove useful to the industry at this terrible time."

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