Anxious farmers are sharing their concerns about the latest foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey on the FwiSpace discussion forums.

A debate about the merits of vaccination has already sprung up after one member posted a link to a petition which asks the Prime Minister not to vaccinate against foot and mouth because of the consequences it could bring to the industry.

“I farm beef, sheep and cereals in Scotland. If the UK were to vaccinate and leave the animals alive which had been vaccinated then we could never export our beef, sheep or milk products again. Agriculture would not be profitable again,” she said.

Farmbill agreed: “From what I can gather vaccination is not the answer. We must eradicate foot and mouth and then put proper measures in place to keep it out.

“I find it hard to believe that this disease has re-emerged after so many weeks. Obviously, we all want to know why.”

Some of the other contributors have indicated they are more willing to consider vaccination as an option.

The aged clun said: “We have had two outbreaks in six years. That is two too many. Time to think again about the practicalities of keeping this virus out.”

In another foot-and-mouth thread on the forum, farmers have been speculating how the disease might have got to Egham.

Madcow666 said she had heard that walkers were continuing to use footpaths in the control zone despite the fact they have been closed by the authorities.

“Just heard that the roaming public refused to obey footpath closures and continued to walk them today, including on the affected farm,” she said.

“Authorities are also investigating where builders’ rubble /soil /spoil from Pirbright’s upgrade was dumped,” she added.