Revised legislation for cattle dealers

Revised legislation has been adopted for cattle dealers this week which should see the paper trail diminished for many dealers. Those who sell less than 100 cattle within 30 days in any one-year period are exempted from the legislation. Minister Mary Coughlan announced the changed format on Wednesday.             Changes include: dealers in cattle and pigs are defined as those who buy and resell within 30 days rather than within the current 45 days; farmers and others who buy and resell not more than 100 cattle or 100 pigs within 30 days in any 12 month period are now exempted from the legislation; and agents, who act exclusively on behalf of dealers, exporters, factories and private individuals are excluded from the definition of dealer.             The new legislation requires those who buy and resell cattle or pigs within 30 days to register as dealers and to comply with arrangements relating to the welfare and transport of animals, standards and the upkeep of premises, keeping of records and compliance with animal notification and disease testing procedures.             The 45-day rule for registration of dealers was introduced in the context of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001 when it was considered that animal movements had to be managed so as to minimise the spread of disease.   Speaking this week, Minister Coughlan said that having reviewed the measures, she was satisfied that in the current circumstances, it was appropriate to replace the 45-day rule for registration with a 30-day rule.             The Minister added: "These new regulations will also remove certain categories from the scope of the legislation and reduce the administrative burden on individuals and the sector in a manner that will maintain the necessary disease control and traceability elements of the legislation relating to dealers."             Finally the Minister indicated that her Department is also reviewing the legislation relating to dealers in sheep and other species who for the time being will continue to be subject to the 2001 legislation.