Foot and mouth disease tests are being carried out at a new location in the south east of England, FWi has learned.

DEFRA has established a new temporary 3km control zone around the suspected case on a unit in Surrey.

A veterinary surgeon visited the site believed to be at Chessington, Surrey, and could not rule out the presence of foot and mouth disease in sheep.

Chessington is just 20 miles from the Pirbright research site described as very likely to be the source of the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak

“This is the second premises at which a Temporary Control Zone has been placed today,” a DEFRA spokeswoman told FWi.

“Both are precautionary measures following inconclusive assessments of clinical symptoms by Animal Health veterinary staff.

“The national movement ban remains in place. In addition, in the Temporary Control Zone, general licences will not apply for the movement of animals to slaughter and collection of dead animals from farms,” she said.

Debby Reynolds, Chief Veterinary Officer, said:

“The containment and eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease remains our priority. We are in a crucial week for vigilance and planning next steps. 

“Today’s developments are part of our ongoing surveillance and testing and I would take this opportunity to reiterate the need for the highest standards of biosecurity on farms, and for people to remain vigilant for disease and report any suspicions quickly.”