27 April 2001
Burial pit opened as effluent leaks

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

A PIT containing the carcasses of more than 1500 ewes and lambs infected with foot-and-mouth disease is being reopened in mid Wales.

Effluent from the decomposing animals buried five weeks ago at Buttington Hall near Welshpool, has appeared close to a tributary of the River Severn.

Soldiers, contractors and police have closed off the site between the busy A458 road and the main railway line into mid-Wales

There are fears that the grisly task of digging the partly decomposed carcases will be seen, and smelled, by many members of the public.

Thousands of holidaymakers heading from the Midlands to central Wales and coastal resorts are expected to pass close to the farm over the weekend.

Heavy excavators were rushed to the farm on Friday (27 April). The first exhumed animals were expected to be incinerated on Saturday (28 April).

Farmer Richard Tutton has been told that all the soil in the field containing the pit must be sterilised after the burn.

Meanwhile, an investigation is underway in the south of the county to find links between new confirmed cases on a cluster of farms located north of Brecon.

Farm unions were urged to remind members about the risks associated with deliveries and allowing contractors onto farms to carry out spring cultivations.

Alan Morris of the Farmers Union of Wales said it was vital that the industry maintains it guard until there is no question that the epidemic is over.

The United Counties Show at Carmarthen became the latest casualty of the foot-and-mouth epidemic as the number of cases in Wales approached 80.

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Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage