10 May 2001
Exmoor rebel wins cull battle

By John Burns, south-west England correspondent

A FAMILYS decision to barricade their Exmoor farm to keep out the Ministry of Agricultures foot-and-mouth slaughter team has paid off.

The Thomas-Everard family have been told their livestock were no longer regarded as dangerous contacts, and would therefore not be slaughtered.

Guy Thomas-Everard said “Obviously we are delighted to get this reprieve, but we are also very upset that weve had to go through all this.”

“I have just spoken to the NFU (which backed MAFF in its insistence that the animals should be killed) and I understand they are preparing a statement saying they were put under unnecessary pressure by MAFF about the risks involved.”

Mr Thomas-Everard was informed of the decision not to cull the his apparently healthy animals at about at about 9.30am on Thursday (10 May).

His 980 cattle will now be officially inspected for foot-and-mouth by a vet. If all is well the Form A restrictions will be lifted and replaced by a Form D.

The Form D restriction could in turn be lifted after six days, provided that further veterinary inspections find no signs of the disease.

That will mean that Mr Thomas-Everard and his fiancee will not after all need a special licence from MAFF to leave the farm for their wedding on 19 May.

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