Vets to ease foot and mouth restrictions

UK - Government vets are expected to allow the movement of livestock to abattoirs across almost all of England in the next few days after fears of the renewed foot and mouth outbreak spreading nationwide eased yesterday.
calendar icon 15 September 2007
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The easing of restrictions will not apply to the exclusion zone set up in Surrey at the two farms where the foot and mouth virus unexpectedly returned this week.

The move, due to be announced over the weekend, follows a decision by vets in Scotland and Wales yesterday to allow the movement of animals to abattoirs under licence, making it anomalous for farmers not to be allowed to move their stock inside England, especially at farms hundreds of miles from the centre of the latest outbreak.

Any final decision will be made on the advice of government vets, but the move appears to suggest that scientists believe the renewed strain is not virulent enough to spread easily to other stocks.

The news came as a new case of foot and mouth disease was confirmed in Surrey yesterday. The environment department, Defra, said that cattle slaughtered on a farm next to Wednesday's outbreak had tested positive for the disease. Some 40 cattle and 800 pigs were killed on Thursday on the farm as a precaution.

Source: The Guardian
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