Foot And Mouth Confirmed In Surrey

UK - Following an investigation of suspected vesicular disease by Animal Health on a holding near Guildford in Surrey, laboratory results have this evening indicated that the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus is present in samples from cattle on the premises.
calendar icon 4 August 2007
clock icon 4 minute read

"Memories of 2001 are obviously raw but we need to remember this is just one case at the moment. We knew this disease would come back - it was a case of if, not when."

NFUS President Jim McLaren said:

On the basis of the initial laboratory results Debby Reynolds, UK Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed Foot and Mouth Disease. In accordance with the legislation and contingency planning arrangements all the cattle on the premises will be culled. A Protection Zone of three kilometres radius and a Surveillance Zone of 10 kilometres has been placed around the premises, and a GB wide national movement ban of all ruminants and pigs has been imposed.

Nationally no animal movements are allowed except under licence, controls are in place on movement of animal carcasses, animal gatherings, shearing and dipping are restricted, and all farms must increase levels of biosecurity. In both the Protection and Surveillance Zones, there will be requirements for increased levels of biosecurity on farms, movement controls, controls on transportation of dung/manure and treatment of animal products to ensure destruction of the FMD virus.

The farm itself has been under restrictions since late on Thursday evening when symptoms were reported to the local Animal Health office. A 1km temporary restriction zone was placed around the premises earlier today whilst investigations and testing were completed, in line with domestic and EU legislation.

The European Commission has been informed.

Further information

  • Advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is that foot and mouth disease is not a direct public health threat. The Food Standards Agency considers that foot and mouth disease has no implications for the human food chain.
  • Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a disease of cattle and very few human cases have ever been recorded even though the disease is endemic in animals in many parts of the world including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. Foot and mouth disease only crosses the species barrier from cattle to human with very great difficulty. The last human case reported in Britain occurred in 1966. The disease in humans, in the very rare cases that have occurred, is mild, short-lived and requires no medical treatment.
  • The movement of animals, animal products, feed and bedding in the zones will be prohibited, except under license. Products from animals in these zones will be subject to treatment to ensure destruction of the FMD virus. This is an animal health measure rather than a public health measure. Such treatments include the pasteurisation of milk (normal process for most milk produced in the UK), heat treatment or de-boning and maturation of meat in certain circumstances.
  • The exact details on the measures that apply in Protection and Surveillance Zones can be found on the Defra website
  • Export health certificates for animals and animal products will be withdrawn. Exports from GB of susceptible animals during the risk period will be identified and notified to the importing countries.

Reacting to the news, NFUS President Jim McLaren said:

"The hope is obviously that the disease is contained in the small area where it has been found.

"A GB-wide livestock movement ban obviously shuts down Scotland as far as moving animals is concerned.

"There are a number of major agricultural shows on this weekend and the timing of this for them could not be worse. Vet advice is that these shows can go ahead but they can’t involve cattle, sheep, goats or pigs.

"Clearly this will be a rapidly developing situation and in the meantime we operate on a precautionary basis. We are keeping in close touch with the Scottish Executive and I have spoken to Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead.

“Farmers should maintain the highest standards of biosecurity and check their stock and there is advice available on that from the NFUS and Defra websites. "Memories of 2001 are obviously raw but we need to remember this is just one case at the moment. We knew this disease would come back - it was a case of if, not when, but there are contingency plans in place this time which government is now activating.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.