UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has visited the area of Surrey affected by the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
The Prime Minister met with local representatives of the National Farmers’ U nion and staff at a regional disease control centre in Reigate. He thanked local farmers for their “support and understanding” and promised that “no resource will be spared” in dealing with the infection.
The Prime Minister said:
“We have more than 150 people out in the field making sure it is possible to carry out tests and check the area. We also have hundreds of people around the country doing a magnificent job to make sure all the preparations to control the disease are carried out.
“This is a major national effort, the focus of which is to contain and control the disease and then eradicate it.”
Speaking to journalists during the visit, Mr Brown said that around 100 farming establishments had been checked in the area surrounding the affected farm and that it was important to keep an “open mind” about the source of the infection. The Government was determined to gather “all the information necessary” before making a decision on the lifting of a livestock transport ban implemented on Saturday, he said.
The PM travelled to Surrey after chairing a meeting of Cobra, the Government’s civil emergencies committee. The group has met seven times since the outbreak was identified on 3 August.