UK: FMD pigs to be culled
According to the Department of Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs, pigs on a farm situated close to the two areas infected with
foot-and-mouth disease, are to be culled.
The decision was made as a precautionary measure after
an inspection of the animals for clinical signs of the disease proved
News of the cull comes as Chief Vetinary Officer Debby Reynolds announced
animal movements could resume. The lifting of the restriction applies only to
animals outside the surveillance zone which is currently imposed around the
infected premises in Surrey.
It left the Government dealing with a
predicament over whether to allow limited movement of livestock in unaffected
areas of England, following a partial lifting of the transport ban in Scotland
The Government is already facing accusations that it
lifted last month's ban too soon, as the foot-and-mouth virus can survive in the
open for up to six months.
Prince Charles voiced his support for the farming
community and said the new outbreak as "a complete nightmare". The current
outbreak has affected cattle grazing on rented pasture land in Egham, Surrey,
which were immediately culled together with the other 350 cattle owned by Robert
Lawrence, which had been grazing on several parcels of land over a wide
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra) ordered the culling of 800 pigs and 40 cattle from the neighbouring
Stroude Farm on Thursday as a precautionary. Tests on Friday showed confirmed
they had the disease.
Veterinary epidemiologist at Reading University, Tony Wilsmoresaid said
foot-and-mouth at the second farm made further culls a distinct possibility.
"The one positive bit of news is that the animals had not shown any
symptoms before they were culled, meaning it is less likely they will have
passed on the disease," he added.
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