Farming industry stunned by foot-and-mouth confirmation in Surrey

The farming industry has been left stunned by confirmation of another outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Surrey.

DEFRA confirmed on Wednesday afternoon (12 September) that preliminary tests suggest the disease is present in cattle on a farm in Egham, Surrey.

Slaughter of the animals in question is now underway.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “The confirmation of foot and mouth disease is a hammer-blow to the industry which has left livestock farmers stunned.
“Our main focus now must be on controlling and eradicating the disease as quickly as possible. Farmers must be extremely vigilant and biosecurity is of paramount importance.

“The imposition of movement restrictions is absolutely imperative to ensure the disease is stopped in its tracks.
“However this outbreak could not have come at a worse time, with tens of thousands of stock moving from upland to low-land farm areas in the nest few weeks. We must get movement restrictions narrowed down to the area known to be at a real risk as quickly as it’s safe to do so.”

On the FWiSpace forums, Kansas farmer said: “I am sorry you have been hit with this again – I know your livestock people don’t need this triple whammy of foot-and-mouth, high feed prices, then foot-and-mouth again. 

“I can only imagine the stress some of you are under.  Seems to me that Pirbright could still be the source of this, if only indirectly.”

Madcow66 described it as the worst news and picked up on other contributors’ comments about the prevalence of research facilities in the area which include a Veterinary Laboratories Agency site.

To read more from other farmers and to add your own comment visit the forums.