Animal health: movement restrictions

Details around the strict controls around the movement of animals to prevent disease.

Authorised Separation Agreements

In addition to specific exemptions, standstill periods may be avoided if an Authorised Separation Agreement is put in place.

Under this arrangement, which is subject to prior authorisation with local RPID offices, where animals are brought onto any holding and held separately from other animals on the farm, the 13 or 20 day standstill period will apply only to the animals brought on and not to the other animals on the farm. Alternatively, animals to be moved off a holding could be held in the Authorised Separation Facilities to ensure that they would not be caught by any standstill triggered by on-coming livestock.

Full details are contained in the Disease Control (Interim Measures) ( Scotland ) Order 2002 (as amended).

Applications for Authorised Separation Agreements can be printed out, completed and posted to the appropriate local area office, from which further assistance is also available.

Please note that the form cannot be completed online.

Separation Application Guidance Notes

The Disease Control (Interim Measures) (Scotland) Order 2002 (as amended)

Notes for guidance: application for authority to hold animals separately from other FMD susceptible livestock


1. Under the Disease Control (Interim Measures) (Scotland) Order 2002 (as amended), a 13 day standstill on animal movements applies, except for pigs where the standstill remains at 20 days, as referred to in the Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 1995 (as amended).

2. Animals intended for immediate slaughter, moving direct from premises to a slaughterhouse or to a market, are exempt from the 13 day standstill.

3. Other categories of animals brought on to the holding are exempt. These include the movement of:

  • breeding bulls and rams
  • foster calves, lambs and kids
  • animals held on common land
  • animals on premises occupied by the same person or business
  • animals moving to only one show in a 13 day period
  • away-wintered sheep returning to their original holding within 13 days of other stock moving on to the wintering unit

For the full list of exemptions, see annex B.

4. If you put a livestock separation agreement in place with RPID's approval, you can avoid a 13 day standstill across your entire farm/business. Under this arrangement, if you hold brought on animals separate from other animals on your farm, the 13 day standstill will apply only to the animals you brought on, and not to other animals on the farm. Similarly, animals you intend to move off can avoid the 13 day standstill provided you retain them in an authorised separation facility before the oncoming animals arrive. Each new arrival restarts the 13 day standstill period. Pigs continue to trigger a 20 day standstill if they move on to premises, affecting any cattle, sheep or goats already on the holding, unless you have a separation agreement in place.

5. If you sell all your cattle, sheep or pigs direct to an abattoir you do not need to apply for an authorised livestock separation agreement as these classes of animal are exempt from the 13 day (20 days for pigs) standstill. The same applies if the only animals you bring on to your farm are those covered by an exemption - see annex B.

Separation arrangements

Biosecurity requirements

6. RPID will only authorise a separation agreement if you have given an assurance that you will adhere to the following basic biosecurity conditions:

a. Fields, paddocks or buildings used as separation facilities must be escape proof.

b. Fields, paddocks or buildings where animals are held separately from the rest of your livestock must have separate feeding and water troughs.

c. Stock in the separate area must be separated from home or neighbours' stock by natural barriers such as empty fields, woods or streams or solid walls or barriers in buildings. The separation must prevent nose to nose contact with other animals on the premises or on adjoining premises. Inside buildings air space shared between the separate animals and other stock is not acceptable.

d. Any brought on stock to be kept separately to avoid the remainder of the livestock being caught by the 13 day rule must remain separate for a least 13 days (20 days for pigs), or until the other animals have gone. They must be closely inspected daily for signs of disease if disease is to be detected quickly. Brought on animals coming out of the separation facilities early will impose a complete standstill across the farm for the remainder of the relevant standstill period. You must report suspected notifiable disease to the local Divisional Veterinary Manager without delay.

7. To maintain biosecurity, anyone handling animals brought on to the premises and kept separate from the rest of the stock must:

a. clean and disinfect (with an approved disinfectant), or change, their soiled clothing and footwear before handling other animals

b. not take any vehicles into fields, paddocks or buildings unless needed for essential husbandry or welfare reasons. If such vehicles are taken in, the wheels and wheel arches of the vehicles must be cleansed and disinfected before those vehicles are used where they may come into contact with, or be in close proximity to, other animals

c. be informed, by the owner or person in charge of the animals, which animals are held separately and the rules applying to them

8. If animals are being held separately to enable them to be moved off within 13 days (20 days for pigs) of other animals arriving on the premises, anyone who has been in contact with, or used vehicles in fields occupied by, any other animals on the premises must:

a. clean and disinfect (with an approved disinfectant), or change, their soiled clothing and footwear before handling the animals to be moved off

b. cleanse and disinfect the wheels and wheel arches of the vehicles before they enter the fields or premises holding the animals to be moved off

Anyone who has had access to any other animals within 7 days before visiting the separation facilities holding the animals to be moved off must also observe these rules.

Farm staff and visitors should be made fully aware of these conditions and kept well informed of which animals are being held separately, either to prevent them being caught by the 13 day standstill rule (20 days for pigs), or to prevent a standstill being imposed across the entire farm.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

9. Since February 2005, statutory access rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code have provided detailed guidance on the responsibilities of those exercising access rights and of those managing land and water. You can view this Code online and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with it as many aspects will be relevant to your farming business.

10. Under the Code, land managers need to act in relation to authorised separation facilities. Part 3, paragraph 3.30 of the Code deals with access where farm animals are present and this is relevant when any authorised separation facility is in use. In the interests of good biosecurity, any enclosed area selected for use as an authorised separation facility should, wherever possible, be well away from access paths and public rights of way so that fewer people will approach it. However, you should encourage anyone exercising their access rights who approaches the enclosed area to go around the authorised separation facility when it's in use. It is your responsibility to inform the public of this. You should display Government approved notices at all entrances/exits to the authorised separation facility when it's in use, and remove them when it's not. Also, wherever possible, land managers should use the notice to suggest an alternative route for the public to follow.

Market to market moves

11. RPID may authorise separation facilities to hold stock sold through a market in one of the areas of the Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, and Comhairle nan Eilan Siar (the Western Isles) which will be moving to another market on the Scottish mainland within 13 days (20 days for pigs) of the original market.

12. Such separation facilities, if not already in place, must be authorised by RPID in advance of their use. You should apply to cover the period you wish to use this concession. Such facilities may be located on these island areas or on the Scottish mainland, or both.

13. Biosecurity arrangements (see paragraphs 6, 7 and 8) apply to the separation facilities except that stock from the areas of Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council and Comharle nan Eilan Siar may be moved within 13 days (20 days for pigs) if they are moving to another market on the Scottish mainland.

14.You may only use each authorised separation facility for one consignment from one island sale at a time. You must not mix consignments in a single separation facility.

15.You can draw animals from different separation facilities for immediate transfer to the same mainland market sale.


16. To apply for authorisation to hold animals separately (as in paragraph 4), you must complete an application form AS(2) and return it to your RPID area office. The form will include a Farmer Declaration of Compliance certifying your willingness to comply with the biosecurity measures. Forms are available from your RPID area office (list at Annex A).

17. RPID will record all authorisations on its central movement database; this allows co-ordinated cross-checking of compliance with the 13 day movement rule (20 days for pigs). Any breach of conditions applying to such authorisations may lead to RPID withdrawing the authorisation. Please note also that non-compliance with the 13 day rule (20 days for pigs) is a criminal offence. You should apply for an authorised separation agreement as early as possible to allow us time to process your application.

18. Please note that you only need to make one application regardless of the number of times you plan to use the authorised separation facilities during the year in which you apply.

Completing application form AS(2)

19. You should work out a management plan based on your anticipated animal movements and provide general details of your proposals where asked. Please provide details of buildings involved or field identifiers. Examples that meet our requirements would be:

  • keeping separate, specific groups of animals to be sold - suckled calves, store and breeding lambs, other special consignments of breeding sheep, and so on
  • allocating one unit (in a multi-unit IACS business) for incoming or outgoing stock. In these circumstances you should register all the units in your IACS business that participate in your proposals
  • a specialist pig unit kept separate in a mixed farming business

20. You should fill in details of your management proposals in Section 7 of the application form AS(2).

Biosecurity conditions for separation - declaration of compliance

21. You must carefully note the biosecurity conditions. You must comply with these conditions where animals are held separately. If you are satisfied you can meet these conditions then you should sign and return the application form. You can sign the form, or you can have it signed by an agent who is authorised to sign on your behalf. Please show the signatory's status in the box provided - applicant's agent, partner, company secretary and so on.

On-farm checks

22. RPID will carry out on-farm checks to ensure that you are complying with the conditions of your separation agreement. Inspection visits will occur without notice and perhaps more than once during the period of the separation agreement. If you do not comply with the separation requirements or breach the biosecurity conditions, RPID may withdraw its authorisation and you could be prosecuted under the Disease Control Order 2002.

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