Campers behind virus kit scare?

31 July 2001

Campers behind virus kit scare?

By FWi staff

CAMPERS and not criminals seeking to spread foot-and-mouth may be behind a suspicious vial of “reddish liquid” found on a Welsh hillside, say police.

Farmer Alan Thomas contacted police after finding the sealed container and rubber gloves near his home at Travellers Rest, Llangattock, Powys.

Mr Thomas, who farms near the Crickhowell cluster of foot-and-mouth cases, suspected the device was a blood-sampling kit of the type used by vets.

Its discovery, in the wake of reports of farmers being offered infected sheep, raised fears that foot-and-mouth was being deliberately spread.

However, initial inspections suggests the vial is a chemical lighting device used by campers and walkers, said a Dyfed-Powys police spokeswoman.

And there may be no connection between the rubber gloves and the vial as they were not found close to each other, she added.

All the items have been taken away for examination by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Results are expected within a few days.

Police stressed that initial reports which said that a syringe of blood had been discovered were incorrect and no such item was involved.

Meanwhile, more than 8000 pigs have been slaughtered in North Yorkshire as experts desperately try to stop foot-and-mouth spreading into the national herd.

The 8650 animals belonging to Trevor Bosomworth were culled at Sand Hutton, near Thirsk, over a 48-hour period which ended on Monday (30 July).

Three new outbreaks have been confirmed in Powys and Cumbria on Tuesday (31 July) taking the UK total of foot-and-mouth cases to 1909.


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