30 August 2001
Restricted farms hamper Scots status

By FWi staff

PLANS to announce that Scotland is free of foot-and-mouth disease have been shattered because seven farms remain under restriction in the Borders.

Scotland has reached the 90-day watershed during which there have been no new cases of the disease. The last confirmed case was on 30 May.

But the seven farms, all under D-notice restrictions, are likely to remain sealed off for two more weeks. Blood tests for the disease will then be checked.

Assistant chief veterinary officer, Leslie Gardner, said plans to lift remaining restrictions in Dumfries and Galloway would be delayed for at least a week.

He added: “We will monitor these farms very closely over the coming days and just hope we dont see any signs of disease.

Scottish rural development minister Ross Finnie was due to go to the European Union on 11-12 September in an effort to lift the export ban.

He said: “One of the key things we must convince the EU of is that not only have we got rid of the disease, but also that there is no risk of it be reintroduced.

National Farmers Union Scotland president Jim Walker said urged farmers to limit visitors to their farms, especially those from infected areas in England.

Mr Walker warned that the disease could be re-introduced unless farmers started to take biosecurity much more seriously.

He said: “We know of people from south of the border tramping around Scottish farms looking at stock in advance of video sales.

I would say to everyone, be aware of the risk this poses not only to your own farm but to your neighbours and our whole industry.

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