9 March 2001
MAFF acts on pregnant beasts

By Alistair Driver

MINISTERS have announced a limited relaxation of foot-and-mouth movement controls as the number of confirmed cases soars beyond 120.

Pregnant livestock will be allowed to be moved up to 5km in parts of the country not classified as infected, says the Ministry of Agriculture.

Different licences to move livestock very up to 1/2km have also been granted, applying to all parts of the country except to areas within 3km of infected farms.

These licences will help farmers who need to move livestock very short distances along or over highways, for milking, for example.

This comes as another 14 foot-and-mouth cases are confirmed by MAFF, bringing the total in the UK to 121.

Junior Agriculture Minister Baroness Hayman said: “The relaxation of the rules will allow some pregnant animals to be moved.

“But there will be many that still cannot be moved because the disease risk has been too high.”

“We will continue to review the situation to see if movement restrictions could allow livestock to move large distances without compromising disease risk.”

MAFF has also announced it will allow slaughtered animals on infected farms to be rendered, due to long delays in burning livestock on farms.

Chief Veterinary Officer Jim Scudamore said pyres create huge logistical issue. One fire was 1km long and used 300t of coal and 2000 bales, he said.

Among new cases are four in Cumbria, three in Dumfries & Galloway, two in Derbyshire and single cases in Devon, Powys, Wiltshire, Somerset and Staffordshire.

The case in Somerset, reportedly among 620 sheep at a farm near Axbridge, it the first in the county.

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