Defra has released the latest Epidemiological Report, detailing
changes to current restrictions on animal movement in support of
welfare and the standing down of vaccination teams, provided that
initial negative results from the current Temporary Control Zones
(TCZs) in Kent and Surrey are followed by negative results from
the final tests.
The latest Epidemiology Report on the outbreak of Foot and Mouth
Disease in Surrey was published today. It concludes that the risk
of disease spread outside of the Surrey Protection and Surveillance
Zones is now very low. This conclusion is an important part of
the totality of the veterinary assessment of the current disease
situation. Based on that assessment a package of changes will be
introduced alongside the current restrictions on animal movements,
which should alleviate some specific welfare problems. These have
been developed in partnership with industry.
Based on the overall risk assessment, including the findings of
the Epidemiology Report, and provided initial negative tests from
the TCZs are confirmed and there is no change in the disease situation,
the Chief Veterinary Officer will stand down vaccination teams
from their current level of alert. Teams could be stood up again
in five days, if needed.
Government and industry will continue to work closely in partnership.
The Secretary of State, Hilary Benn yesterday met key food chain
stakeholders. Prior to the meeting a core group of stakeholders
worked in partnership with Defra to develop joint proposals for
changes to movement restrictions to alleviate specific welfare
Those attending recognised these problems created by the restrictions
and supported the proposal to make changes. They also recognised
the need to provide businesses with greater certainty on the likely
timeline for future changes, so that they can plan more effectively.
Key dates were discussed in a timeline leading to disease-free
status, and they agreed to work closely together over the coming
weeks to deliver it, while recognising that the timeline is subject
to no further cases being confirmed.
Debby Reynolds said :
“We are grateful to the industry for its tremendous help
to date in support of efforts to control this outbreak. Vigilance
and biosecurity remain top priorities for all. We understand the
industry’s need for information about likely next steps to
help manage the pressures and to plan going forward. In light of
the present disease situation and the assessment today of the very
low risk of disease spread outside the Surveillance Zone, we have
agreed with stakeholders a set of changes to movement restrictions
designed to alleviate the most acute welfare problems. These changes
form the next step in our ongoing risk-based, staged approach to
movement controls. They will be informed by any changes in the
The core group of stakeholders said:
“In developing this work with Defra we have been acutely
aware of the pressures which individual businesses across the food
chain are facing. It is hoped that this clear package of movement
changes will help alleviate some of the immediate welfare problems.
We are hopeful that the timetable will give businesses some basis
upon which to plan and make decisions.
“Vigilance and compliance with the new and existing rules
are of critical importance. Failure by anyone to do this puts at
risk both the timetable and therefore our ability to return to
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