Foot and Mouth Disease :: Foot and Mouth Disease confirmed in cattle, in Surrey

On 3 August UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds confirmed the presence of Foot and Mouth Disease on a farm near Guildford, in Surrey.

The Foot and Mouth Disease strain identified has not been found in animals recently.

It is most similar to strains used in international diagnostic laboratories and in vaccine production, including at the Pirbright site shared by the Institute of Animal Health and Merial Animal Health Ltd, a pharmaceutical company.

The present indications are that this strain is a 01 BFS67 ? like virus, isolated in the 1967 Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in Great Britain.

In line with normal procedures, the infected premises and the Pirbright site are covered by 3km protection zones, with a single 10km radius surveillance zone beyond it.

From 22:00 on 3 August, a national ban came into force across Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) to prevent the movement of susceptible animals. In both the protection and surveillance zones, there will be requirements for increased levels of biosecurity on farms, cleansing and disinfection of vehicles, people and machinery moving on/off farms.

On 4 August the cattle on the infected farm were culled. This included the 38 cattle from the infected premises, and cattle on two additional sites from the same farming enterprise. The cattle on the additional sites, both within the surveillance zone, showed no clinical signs of Foot and Mouth Disease but were culled in line with normal procedure and tested. Results have revealed that, of the additional animals slaughtered, one of them tested positive for Foot and Mouth Disease. As a precaution because of potentially dangerous contacts, susceptible animals on one farm located next door to the field have also been culled.

Immediate action was taken to identify the source of the infection. An investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive at the Institute for Animal Health and Merial is currently taking place.

In addition, an urgent independent review into biosecurity arrangements at both sites has been commissioned led by Professor Brian Spratt of Imperial University. It will report to Hilary Benn and Debby Reynolds.

Update 6 August: Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds has set out the latest progress on tackling the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in Surrey.

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