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FMD back to haunt farmers

[Saturday 04 August 2007]
fmd 2001
Memories of 2001

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE has come back to haunt British farmers just six years after a major epidemic devastated livestock farming across many parts of the country.

60 animals, thought to be cattle, have tested positive for the disease on a farm close to the village of Wanborough near Guildford in Surrey. A 3km protection zone is now in place around the farm and a wider 10km surveillance zone is also in place.

Acting on recommendations in the wake of the 2001 epidemic, the Government immediately placed a complete nationwide ban on all movements of animals such as sheep, cattle and pigs. It's hoped the early ban will stop the disease spreading as quickly as it did six years ago.

As well as the movement ban restrictions are also now in place that prevents farmers from dipping and shearing sheep without a license.

The cattle in Surrey will now be culled and the Government's emergency Cobra committee will be meeting today (Saturday) to consider what further measures are necessary.

FMD Fact File:

  • Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral disease which affects cows, sheep, pigs and other ruminants
  • Symptoms include fever, lesions in the mouth and lameness
  • The disease is not usually fatal in adult animals but is debilitating
  • Fatality rates among young animals are usually much higher
  • FMD rarely crosses the species barrier from animals to human
  • The disease in humans is mild, short-lived and requires no medical treatment

Further information is available on the Defra website

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