Foot and mouth suspected on Kent cattle farm

A suspected case of foot and mouth disease has occurred on a farm in Kent.

DEFRA would not say where the farm was but had set up a new control zone around farm, according to chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds.

Cattle have been tested and officials are awaiting results, Dr Reynolds said.

She suggested that the case was similar to one on a farm in Dorking, Surrey, last week, where a suspected case turned out to be a false alarm.

At the Kent farm, where the suspected case has occurred, it is believed the calves have blisters on their tongues, Farmers Weekly has learned.

But although the blisters are a key symptom of foot and mouth disease, the farm owner believes that the action taken will prove to have been purely precautionary once the test results are completed.

NFU president Peter Kendall urged the media not to jump to conclusions.

“Farmers are only doing what has been asked of them – to check their livestock and call in a vet if they find anything untowards,” Mr Kendall said.

Foot and mouth 3km zone Kent

Click here for DEFRA’s formal statement on the temporary zone