Foot and mouth disease tests carried out on two sites have returned negative preliminary results.

Chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds said that both the case at the Chessington World of Adventures site in Surrey and at Honeychild Farm in Kent, had returned preliminary negative results.

Commenting on the results Dr Reynolds said that the risk of foot and mouth disease spreading outside the Surrey Protection and Surveillance Zones was now very low.

Based on that assessment a package of changes will be introduced from midnight on 15 August alongside the current restrictions.

This should alleviate some specific welfare problems on animal movements, she added.

A general licence will be issued for the movement of susceptible animals within holdings for distances of up to 3km.

That distance can include movement along or across highways within the holding.

For pigs there is also a licence to move breeding pigs to grower units and growers to finisher units for distances of up to 50km.

But this movement will only be allowed after a veterinary inspection has been carried out.

The vet visit will be at the owner’s expense and must be carried out not more than six hours before the movement takes place.

Dr Reynolds also announced that providing there was no change in the situation, vaccination teams would be stood down from their current level of alert.

She added that DEFRA was grateful to the industry for its tremendous help to date in support of efforts to control the outbreak but repeated a warning that vigilance and biosecurity remained top priorities.

For more detail of how the movement restrictions will be unwound take a look at the forums where you can also post your own verdict.