DEFRA has made the decision not to vaccinate for foot and mouth disease at this stage in the outbreak, but has made clear that they retain the ability to do so, should the disease situation change.

Vaccination teams were triggered into action immediately following confirmation of the disease on 12 September with teams ready to vaccinate, should the decision be taken, by 17 September.

Commenting on the decision chief veterinary officer, Debby Reynolds said: “Vaccination can be used as a disease control measure if it is demonstrated that steps in additional to the slaughter policy are required to eradicate the disease.

“It has been decided not to vaccinate at this time because the risk of spread of disease outside of the Surrey area is still considered to be low at the present time.

“However, this approach will be kept under constant review as this is a developing situation and therefore, the Forward Vaccination Centre will be kept in place.”