Foot-And-Mouth's Lessons Learned

UK - In 2001 foot-and-mouth became a national epidemic. It lasted for seven months. Six million animals were slaughtered and it cost the country £8bn.
calendar icon 29 August 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
A surveillance zone still surrounds the two affected UK farms

But this time an outbreak on 2 August was contained and eliminated within weeks. So how did the government get it so right this time when it got it so wrong six years ago?

It was a combination of luck, professionalism and a quick response.

We were lucky that the first outbreak of the disease was identified straight away. If left for even a few more days the virus could easily have spread further.

Movement halted

The farmer whose cattle were affected, Roger Pride, showed great professionalism in identifying the disease among his herd and then reporting it so quickly.

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) then acted quickly to cordon off the area, halt the movement of animals and identify the source of the virus.

In 2001 the government was too slow to ban the movement of animals and the virus spread across the country.

Source: BBCnews
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