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Anger and amazement over possible FMD source

[Monday 06 August 2007]

NEWS that the latest outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease may have originated from a Government laboratory has left farmers feeling angry and amazed according to leaders of the major farming union.

Livestock farmers throughout the country will be in a state of anger and amazement

NFU

The NFU says it is deeply concerned to hear that the FMD virus may have originated from the Pirbright site shared by the Institute of Animal Health and Merial Animal Health Ltd - a private American company that manufactures animal vaccine.

In a statement the NFU said: "Livestock farmers throughout the country will be in a state of anger and amazement to think that a site concerned with animal health may have allowed this terrible virus to get into our farming stock.

"Despite this, our current top priority must be the overwhelming need to get this virus under control. It is only day two of this outbreak and we must all do everything we can to ensure that it is contained and does not spread.

"It is possible that other animals have been infected and it has gone further than the local area. It is absolutely imperative that we put all our current efforts into controlling the disease and stop this outbreak in its tracks. Vigilance must not be relaxed and biosecurity is of paramount importance.

"For the future, once we get to the bottom of exactly what has happened we, as a membership organisation, will have to look at issues of accountability and compensation. But that is for the future - right now all our efforts are going into getting on top of this potentially devastating disease."

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