Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

More Outbreaks but Plans to Allow Some Stock Travel; FOOT-AND-MOUTH CRISIS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

More Outbreaks but Plans to Allow Some Stock Travel; FOOT-AND-MOUTH CRISIS

Article excerpt

Byline: GERAINT SMITH;COLIN ADAMSON

FOUR more cases of foot-and-mouth have been all but confirmed, bringing the total number of outbreaks to 22, the government chief vet Jim Scudamore said today.

The news came as a plan to enable the strictly controlled movement of livestock was revealed for the first time.

The new cases, two in Wales, one in Herefordshire and one in Lancashire, are "highly suspicious" and expected to be confirmed by further laboratory tests, Mr Scudamore said. A suspected outbreak is also being investigated in Northern Ireland.

So far a total of 11,000 animals have now been involved in the confirmed cases, and a further 4,000 animals are judged to have had "dangerous contact" with the infection, Mr Scudamore said. All these animals have either been slaughtered or are being slaughtered.

In all, 102 farms have been declared as places where the virus was suspected, around 50 of which have been cleared.

"We still have the three core sites - in Essex, Northumberland and Devon - but between them there has been a lot of movement of animals and a lot of markets involved - Hexham, Longtown, Darlington and Northampton," said Mr Scudamore.

The chief veterinary officer said that for all but one of the infections found so far, the links are known. He said that sheep slaughtered in Germany as a precaution, having been moved from the farm at the centre of the infection in Devon, had shown no evidence of the disease.

Mr Scudamore said: "The German authorities slaughtered them, tested them, and they have found inconclusive evidence. I suspect that their tests will in fact be negative.

"We also have movements from this dealer to other dealers, and those consignments subsequently went to Belgium, Holland, Germany and France.

They have identified the sheep and are taking action."

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown said that he believed that the precautions being taken to slaughter infected animals and restrict movement of livestock were exactly right. …

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