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Stackyard News Aug 07

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Roger Pride gives press conference on FMD outbreak

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 and devastated’.

beef steer

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.

link Second FMD Case in Surrey - NFU Scotland Reaction
link CLA Latest: Foot and Mouth Outbreak
link Foot and Mouth Disease: Thursley National Nature Reserve Remains Open

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