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Livestock Can Now Move DIrect to Slaughter
08/08/07

The ban on movements of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) susceptible animals remains in place throughout Great Britain.

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However, in accordance with the contingency plan, a veterinary assessment of the risk from licensing these moves has been carried out. The decision has been taken to permit the movement of live animals direct to slaughter, and the collection of dead animals from farms from 00.01 hours on Thursday 9 August. These general licences will only apply outside of the Protection and Surveillance Zones.

In the view of the Chief Veterinary Officer, the emerging conclusions of epidemiological investigations, and the on-going surveillance and testing indicate that there is a low, but not negligible, risk of the spread of FMD from the Protection and Surveillance Zones to the rest of the country.

Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said:

“My assessment is that these licensed moves outside of the Protection and Surveillance Zones present a low risk provided the conditions are strictly followed. I continue to urge all farmers to take the highest level of biosecurity measures and to follow the conditions of these licences in every respect.

“I have today ordered culling on suspicion of Foot and Mouth Disease on one farm adjacent to the second infected premises in the Protection Zone confirmed yesterday. Test results this morning have revealed that the strain of the virus found on the second infected premises is 01 BFS67-like strain. This is the same as the strain identified on the first farm on 4th August .This is a developing situation, and our surveillance activity is on-going.”

Movements and collections will only be permitted to take place in accordance with strict licensing conditions, including biosecurity measures on-farm, in transport, and at abattoirs. Only those abattoirs that meet the specific conditions requiring stringent biosecurity, and which have appropriate Meat Hygiene Service inspection and supervision, will be permitted to accept livestock for slaughter.

Notes:

1. The exact details of current Protection and Surveillance Zones can be found on the Defra website

2. The Defra public helpline is currently operating from 6am-10pm. The public should call:  08459 335577.

3.  Advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is that foot and mouth disease is not a public health threat.

4. 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.

link British Pig Meat Supplies Re-start
link Movement to Slaughter Welcomed by EBLEX
link Statement from Hilary Benn in response to HSE initial report

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