Restrictions on the movement of livestock outside the current exclusion zone will be eased from midnight tonight, the UK Government has announced.
In a Defra press conference, Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said that the movement of dead animals and of animals for slaughter would be allowed from tomorrow under strict licensing conditions. A ban on all other livestock movement remains in place.
Mrs Reynolds also confirmed that culling “on suspicion” was underway on a third Surrey farm, next to the site of the second infection discovered Monday, though no symptoms had been detected. The risk of the disease spreading outside the existing exclusion zone was “low” and the countryside remained “open for people to visit”, she added.
In a statement to the press Richard Ellison, Regional Director of the National Farmers Union, welcomed the relaxation of the ban. The approval of transport licenses would bring “some return to normality and would help “limit the damage” to the livestock industry.
Last night the Prime Minister said that a “major effort” was underway to isolate the foot and mouth outbreak first identified on 4 August. Referring to a Health and Safety Executive report on the causes of the outbreak, Mr Brown said that that the chances of the virus being transmitted by air or by surface water from the Pirbright facility, which houses the Merial company and the Institute for Animal Health, were “negligible”.
The investigation is now looking at the drainage systems at the Merial plant as well as the possibility of human transmission. A further HSE report is expected soon.
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Sub-editorFoot and Mouth Disease :: Livestock movement ban eased, UK
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on August 9th, 2007 at 1:00 am.
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