Foot and mouth ban on farm animal movement lifted as disease is eradicated


Last updated at 20:26 08 September 2007

Restrictions on farm animals imposed following last month's foot-and-mouth outbreak were lifted yesterday after experts said the disease had been eradicated.

A 20-day standstill for moved animals and additional controls on livestock shows and markets ended.

The surveillance zone around the infected premises near Guildford in Surrey was also removed.

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outbreak path

Angry farmers affected by the outbreak called for the nearby Pirbright laboratory site to remain closed after an official report by the Health and Safety Executive blamed damaged pipework at the site for leaking the virus.

The HSE said it was not possible to pinpoint whether the exact source was the Institute for Animal Health or the private Merial vaccine factory, which shares the site.

But Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said: "I'm satisfied that foot-and-mouth has been eradicated from the UK in 2007."

National Farmers' Union president Peter Kendall attacked the inadequate maintenance of the pipe system as 'incredible and quite indefensible'.

Farmers, who lost thousands of pounds as a result of the restrictions, want the Government to say how the virus escaped.

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