1 August 2001
Virus final clean-up to restart?

By FWi staff

SECONDARY cleaning and disinfecting work on farms affected by foot-and-mouth is set to restart under strict rules, according to reports

Operations were suspended last week after the Prime Minister said the cost in England and Wales, which reached 104,000 in some cases, was “unacceptable”.

The Independent says some farmers were accused of trying to delay disinfection work to make more money, as they were paid by the hour.

Ministers are now set to introduce stricter rules to prevent excessive amounts of time being spent on cleaning up, reports the newspaper.

Whitehall sources said the new system would be introduced “shortly” and would put strict limits on the number of hours that can be billed.

The Daily Express says that vaccination could be used to combat foot-and-mouth within two months if the crisis continues.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has upped its contingency plan for vaccination in disease hotspots, it claims.

A DEFRA source told the newspaper that if the disease could not be controlled by autumn “other methods will have to be considered”.

European Union permission was given for vaccination in Devon, but the plan was shelved after opposition from farming unions.

In another development, the National Farmers Union has called on ministers to find a workable way of improving the flow of British meat to the market.

President Ben Gill told junior DEFRA ministers Elliot Morley and Lord Whitty that arrangements for moving of uninfected animals were too slow and expensive.

Mr Gill wants new guidelines allowing animals to be collected from more than one farm in an infected area before being transported direct to slaughter.

At the moment stock from one farm, whether 10 or two hundred animals, must be transported alone, with huge cost implications for small consignments.

Four new cases of foot-and-mouth have been reported in Cumbria and North Yorkshire on Tuesday (01 August), taking the UK total up to 1918.

Eight cases were confirmed on Monday, double the daily average since May. These included five cases in Cumbria, two in Powys and one in North Yorkshire.