2 May 2001
New disease scare in Essex

By FWi staff

ESSEX farms are being tested for foot-and-mouth more than a fortnight after the last confirmed case in the county, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Twenty farms are being scrutinised following the cull four days ago of stock at Great Wigborough, near Colchester after tests revealed disease antibodies.

But farmers have complained that the Ministry of Agriculture is concealing the extent of the epidemic by only classifying the case as a dangerous contact.

Disease control restrictions have been lifted in some parts of Essex in recent days, including the abattoir where foot-and-mouth was first detected in February.

In another development, trading standards officers are concerned that an expected ban on feeding swill to pigs will not be wide-ranging enough.

Only 82,000 pigs in Britain are fed on swill but it is thought to be the source of the foot-and mouth outbreak.

Most farming organisations agreed with proposals from Agriculture Minister Nick Browns for a ban catering waste being used in swill.

But North Yorkshire trading standards officer Graham Venn told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme that bakery waste may not be included.

He fears that meat products such as pies and sausage rolls could inadvertently become mixed with bakery waste such as flour confectionery at manufacturers.

Mr Venn said waste from any manufacturing base which also produces meat products should not be used for animal feed.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express reports that Cumbrian foot-and-mouth pyres create satellite photographs hotspots to match Sicilys Mount Etna volcano.

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

  • The Daily Telegraph 02 May 2001 page 10
  • Daily Express 02 May 2001 page 10