9 November 2001
Stock free to move across N England

By Wendy Owen, north-east of England correspondent

LIVESTOCK movement restrictions imposed during the foot-and-mouth crisis have been lifted on almost 8500 farms in the north of England.

Sheep and cattle can now be moved more easily between many farms in Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

Restrictions have now been lifted on 95.3% of all the farms on which they were imposed. But some 6630 farms in four areas remain restricted.

The stringent “blue box” biosecurity zone in the Allendale area of Northumberland is among the lifted restrictions.

The ending of the zone followed a disease sampling programme which saw 20,000 animals tested after the disease returned to the area in August.

More than 30 cleaning and disinfection points have now been removed.

Otterburn farmer Steve Ramshaw, who delivers meat in the “blue box” zone, said the restrictions had extended his already long working day.

But he was full of praise for officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who patrolled the area.

“Ive had my vehicle cleaned three and four times a day and every time the job has been done properly,” he said.

“The way the restrictions have been policed has been a credit to everyone involved, although it has been a desperate time.”

Meanwhile, Form D restrictions have been lifted from more than 300 farms in protection zones in Northumberland and County Durham.

But restrictions still apply in Whitley Chapel, where final test results are awaited from animals which tested positive for foot-and-mouth antibodies.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage
Recovery plan – Full coverage