DEFRA has today issued a general licence allowing the movement of horses into and out of the foot-and-mouth (FMD) protection zone (pz).

Since foot-and-mouth disease was identified on a farm in Surrey on 3 August, all equines in the immediate area have been grounded.

While the rest of the country has continued to hack and compete, adhering where necessary to FMD bio-security rules, the horses within the 3km protection zone have been unable to move.

This afternoon, 21 August, DEFRA has issued a general licence, allowing those horses within the PZ to be moved into or out of the zone, as long as various conditions are met.

Today’s licence also allows horses to be moved from or to premises within the protection zone where susceptible animals (such as cows, sheep, pigs and deer) are kept, provided the conditions of the licence are met.

Hacking on the roads is also now allowed within the PZ, though hacking on bridlepaths and other public rights of way and land that is closed, is still not allowed.

To view the full licence, visit http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/fmd/pdf/generallicence-horses-pz.pdf