10 August 2001
‘Firebreak’ cull for Brecon sheep

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

ANOTHER 4000 sheep are being culled in Wales to create fire breaks between areas infected with foot-and-mouth disease on the Brecon Beacons.

Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones said the technique had worked on Anglesey and could be effective in halting the spread of the disease.

Latest blood tests results indicated that the disease was moving across the common and drastic action was needed to stop it in its tracks, he said.

Almost 7000 sheep have already been killed and test results on another 4000 are expected soon. The cull could be extended to around 40,000 sheep.

Checks are also taking place on sheep grazing near the Eppynt military range, where thousands of carcasses were buried and burned earlier during the crisis.

Vets are investigating a report that one sheep grazing in the Eppynt area appeared to be showing clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease.

A spokesman for the Farmers Union of Wales said members were living through a nightmare, fearing the worst but praying for a miracle.

Meanwhile, the Welsh National Assembly agreed to provide 250,000 to help alleviate the impact of the disease on 6000 members of 80 Young Farmers Clubs.

Some of the cash will be aimed at reducing stress and depression. It is also hoped that young people will develop skills to help rebuild the farming industry.

Some 50,000 will come from a Rural Recovery Plan launched last month, and 200,000 will be allocated from Assembly funding over the next two years.

The Safeway supermarket chain has pledged to donate 1% of the money from its sales of lamb towards a fund to buy computers for 12 young farmers clubs.

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