31 August 2001
Dutch farmers in vaccination plea

By FWi staff

DUTCH farmers have written to National Farmers Union president Ben Gill asking that the UK starts vaccinating animals around new foot-and-mouth cases.

Without vaccination, there is a real danger you could still be getting cases in six months time or even a year, said LTO dairy chairman Siem Jan Schenk.

We are also very afraid that foot-and-mouth could return to Continental Europe if it is not dealt with properly in the UK.

Holland successfully contained foot-and-mouth within a few weeks earlier this year by ring-vaccinating around outbreaks and then culling the animals.

But Mr Schenk conceded that the Dutch were lucky because they were already on a state of high alert by the time the disease arrived.

Vaccination may not have been so appropriate in the UK when the disease was widespread, said Mr Shenk.

But serious consideration should be given to following the Dutch example because outbreaks are now more sporadic.

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