Industry relief as foot and mouth scare abates

Industry relief as foot and mouth scare abates

A temporary control zone in Norfolk, imposed for Foot and Mouth disease has been removed following tests carried out at a pig farm near Feltwell.

Pigs on a farm

Health authorities began investigating the reports of illness in pigs on 23rd June and imposed a 10km temporary control zone around the site which has now been removed after tests on pigs were found to be negative.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss commented on Twitter: “Following swift action in response to this possible case I can confirm that testing has enabled me to fully rule out the presence of Foot and Mouth disease.”

Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly infectious condition, which is often fatal, affecting cloven-footed animals such as cattle, sheep and pigs. A major UK outbreak in 2001 had devastating consequences for the farming and meat industry when more than 6 million farm animals were destroyed. The last outbreak recorded in Britain was in 2007.

The government has confirmed that further tests are still taking place at the site. These tests are continuing to establish the cause of the problem and therefore the farming premises remain under some restriction pending the outcome.

Defra said that the control zone, which also included Lakenheath and Brandon in Suffolk, had originally been introduced as a precaution to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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