Following an investigation of suspected vesicular disease by
Animal Health on a holding near Guildford in Surrey, laboratory
results have this evening indicated that the Foot and Mouth Disease
(FMD) virus is present in samples from cattle on the premises.
On the basis of the initial laboratory results Debby Reynolds,
UK Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed Foot and Mouth Disease.
In accordance with the legislation and contingency planning arrangements
all the cattle on the premises will be culled. A Protection Zone
of three kilometres radius and a Surveillance Zone of 10 kilometres
has been placed around the premises, and a GB wide national movement
ban of all ruminants and pigs has been imposed.
Nationally no animal movements are allowed except under licence,
controls are in place on movement of animal carcasses, animal
gatherings, shearing and dipping are restricted, and all farms
must increase levels of biosecurity. In both the Protection and
Surveillance Zones, there will be requirements for increased
levels of biosecurity on farms, movement controls, controls on
transportation of dung/manure and treatment of animal products
to ensure destruction of the FMD virus.
The farm itself has been under restrictions since late on Thursday
evening when symptoms were reported to the local Animal Health
office. A 1km temporary restriction zone was placed around the
premises earlier today whilst investigations and testing were
completed, in line with domestic and EU legislation.
The European Commission has been informed.
1. Advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is that foot
and mouth disease is not a direct public health threat. The Food
Standards Agency considers that foot and mouth disease has no
implications for the human food chain.
2. FMD is a disease of cattle and very few human cases have
ever been recorded even though the disease is endemic in animals
in many parts of the world including Asia, Africa, the Middle
East and South America. Foot and mouth disease only crosses the
species barrier from cattle to human with very great difficulty.
The last human case reported in Britain occurred in 1966. The
disease in humans, in the very rare cases that have occurred,
is mild, short-lived and requires no medical treatment.
3. The movement of animals, animal products, feed and bedding
in the zones will be prohibited, except under license. Products
from animals in these zones will be subject to treatment to ensure
destruction of the FMD virus. This is an animal health measure
rather than a public health measure. Such treatments include
the pasteurisation of milk (normal process for most milk produced
in the UK), heat treatment or de-boning and maturation of meat
in certain circumstances.
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