Outbreak of foot and mouth confirmed: latest
The slaughter of animals has already begun at the neighbouring farm to Milton Park and government vets are currently waiting for the results of FMD tests from another farm in Hindolveston, Norfolk – where a protection zone has been set up as a precaution.
The animal on the farm being tested is thought to be a pig, which became ill early on Wednesday.
Just 24 hours before this new outbreak, the European Union had lifted its controls on British livestock exports.
The government’s chief vet, Debby Reynolds, had said last Friday she believed the disease had been “eradicated” from Britain.
Last night she said ministers had only been advised to lift all the previous restrictions after the testing of all 8,000 animals in the previous exclusion zone was completed and no presence of the disease was found.
Scientists think it likely the virus has remained active for longer than expected, due to climactic conditions.
Last month’s outbreak was estimated to have cost farmers £50m.
Previous reports below:
A pre-emptive slaughter of animals has been ordered and a national movement ban has been put in to place. Vets are also investigating sick animals in Lanarkshire and Norfolk. Restrictions have consequently been placed on deer stalking.
The surveillance zone around the original outbreak was only lifted at midday on Saturday.
Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers’ Union, told Shooting Times it was a “hammer blow” for British agriculture and the industry.
He added: “This outbreak could not have come at a worse time, with tens of thousands of stock moving from upland to low-land farm areas in the nest few weeks.
We must get movement restrictions narrowed down to the area known to be at a real risk as quickly as it’s safe to do so.”
A national movement ban has been put in place on all livestock in the UK.
As it has been declared a “restricted zone” deer may only be shot by parties made up of the land occupier, members of his household, persons employed by him as beaters and any member of a shooting party of not more than 3 persons authorized by him.
In the protected zone (in the area around Egham, Surrey) you may not sell or move venison, hides or trophies unless they have been stored and kept separate from other animals for 21 days prior to the earliest outbreak, unless your premises is issued with a licence by the secretary of state.
In the case of the surveillance zone, you may not move or sell venison under the same conditions as the protected zone but you may sell hides and trophies.
In the restricted area, which is the rest of Great Britain but not Northern Ireland, once a deer is culled it must remain on the premises and must not be moved.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has also issued the following advice for shooters:
– Check that the occupier agrees to shooting taking place on his land.
– Be aware of public and other land user sensitivities when out shooting.
– If you have bought deer shooting in Great Britain check with the provider that the services you have paid for will be available.
– If you are shooting on your own ground ensure that provision has been made for the correct storage, processing or disposal of the carcass of any culled deer.
– If you have sold, or intend to sell, deer shooting ensure that your clients are fully briefed on the current situation.
A 10km control zone, centred on the affected farm near Egham, has been put in place and cattle from the affected herd are being culled.
Further updates as we get them.