Virus returns to haunt north-east
By FWi staff
FOOT-AND-MOUTH restrictions will be maintained in Northumberland after the disease reared its head again following a gap of almost 14 weeks.
Foot-and-mouth was confirmed in a valley which has previously escaped the disease at Taylor Burn Farm, Nine Banks, near Hexham, on Friday (24 August).
More than 60 cattle and 200 sheep have been slaughtered. Livestock on five neighbouring farms will be also be culled.
A 10km surveillance zone has been set up. More than 60 premises within 3km of the infected farm will be closely monitored.
The news is a body-blow to farmers who had hoped that restrictions would be lifted. Prior to the new case, the last outbreak in the county was on 22 May.
The Northumberland outbreak came as Lord Haskins warned that problems faced by some farmers hit by foot-and-mouth must be urgently addressed.
The Labour peer appointed to devise a foot-and-mouth recovery plan starts work next week on tackling the crisis resulting from movement restrictions.
Although not scheduled to make final recommendations to Tony Blair until late September, Lord Haskins said measures to help farmers must be prioritised.
He added: “I shall be making noises to appropriate people within days rather than weeks over the problems faced by farmers.”
Lord Haskins said he was aware of the seasonal problems being faced by hill farms with store and breeding stock that must be sold before the winter.
His is particularly concerned about farmers who are caught up in livestock movement restrictions, especially those with stock to move off hills.
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