Surrey farmer Roger Pride today issued a statement on behalf
of his family describing how the foot and mouth outbreak which
hit their farm on Friday has left them feeling ‘shocked
NFU Director of Communications Anthony Gibson read out a statement
from the Pride family, who finish 50 beef cattle a year and run
a highly successful farm shop from their family-run Woolford
Farm, near Godalming.
In the statement the family said their farm was well-respected,
they had maintained the ‘highest standards’ and the
FMD outbreak was ‘dreadful for everyone concerned’.
They also issued a plea to farmers to maintain the highest standards
of bio-security and keep vigilant checks on their livestock to
prevent any one else going through the same situation.
Defra also confirmed a second outbreak within the protection
zone today, which Mr Gibson said was ‘disappointing but
not surprising’. He urged farmers in the surveillance zone
to be extra vigilant in checking their livestock and reporting
any suspicious symptoms immediately.
He said: “It is an absolute priority to root out the infection – this
is where all our efforts are being focussed. But we must also
make a start on getting the industry back to normal, as soon
as it is safe to do so.”
He also added the NFU had a completely open mind on vaccination: “Defra
should have vaccination open to them as an option – the
issue of vaccination has moved on since 2001. If vaccination
is the right option for dealing with this outbreak then vaccination
is what we will support,” he said.
During the press conference Mr Gibson described the ‘incredulity
and shock’ in the farming community that the outbreak appeared
to be linked to the Pirbright facility but stressed that there
would be no rush to judgement in advance of the official investigation.
Despite the current situation at Woolford Farm, the Pride family
maintained their love of farming – both Derek and Roger
have more than 80 years experience between them and insisted
they wanted to carry on farming.
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