5 March 2001
Stock moves restart today

By FWi staff

THE movement of livestock in areas of Britain not affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak will begin on Monday (05 March).

Movement licences are being granted by local authority trading standards on a declaration from the farmer that the stock is free of disease.

More than 170 abattoirs have been approved so far to take part in the tightly controlled scheme.

There have been fears that, as the animals do not have to be checked before travelling, some farmers could unwittingly send on diseased animals.

But Peter Scott from the British Meat Federation said it was impractical for vets to check all livestock.

“There clearly arent enough state veterinary surgeons to do the job,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.

“And farmers own vets who visit farms run the risk, if they find a suspect or confirm a case, of being quarantined themselves,” he added.

Mr Scott said some large plants, with slaughterhouses, cutting houses and retail packing on one site, were nervous that infected animals could be delivered.

“Its a risk being taken not by the farm but by the abattoir,” he said. “They could be closed down and its a very serious risk indeed.”

The total number of confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth the disease now stands at 69, with three new cases confirmed today and 14 on Sunday (04 March).

Sundays cases included five in Devon, three in Tyne and Wear, the same number in Dumfries-shire, and single cases in Cornwall, Staffordshire and Herefordshire.

Meanwhile, French officials say foot-and-mouth antibodies have now been found on nine farms across the country.

Suspicions about foot-and-mouth disease could not be confirmed because the animals were slaughtered and burned after being tested.

But French ministers stressed that the disease had not been confirmed.

Farms in Belgium, France and Denmark were quarantined after suspected cases of foot-and-mouth were discovered. Further tests are being carried out.

And Ireland has stationed troops along the border with Northern Ireland, where one case has been confirmed.

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