Infected cows ‘harboured virus for two weeks’

UK - A farmer who missed the symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease in his cattle is thought to be the most likely reason for the resurgence of the virus in Surrey.
calendar icon 15 September 2007
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The Times has learnt that 50 cattle culled on Thursday on suspicion of carrying the virus at Stroude Farm, Virginia Water, may have been harbouring the disease for 10 to 14 days.

Unaware of this, Government vets allowed the animal movement ban that was brought in after the August outbreak to be lifted last week and declared the country “disease-free”.

Dealers, agents and hauliers caught up in the livestock crisis and unable to export or transport animals are planning a demonstration outside the Pirbright scientific research centre. They are furious at the lapse in biosecurity at the site that allowed the virus to escape. They are not eligible for compensation for their losses.

Farmers elsewhere in England are angry about the latest lockdown on their farms when Wales and Scotland have approved licences to send animals to slaughter. South Wales is closer to Surrey than Northumberland.

Debby Reynolds, the Government’s chief vet, is expected to approve similar movements from farm to abattoir this weekend – though only outside the protection and surveillance zones. It may take a few more days before licences are approved to allow farmers to move animals for the next breeding season.

Source: The Times
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