6 July 2001


Is the foot-and-mouth crisis over? If you listen to the media news, it could well be. If you believe government, it has been for some time. And more worryingly, disinfection protocols on some dairy farms would suggest so too.

Following these protocols, especially with daily milk tanker visits, is a chore. But it is essential in all areas, as is avoiding unnecessary visitors and ensuring visitors take precautions to prevent disease spread.

Many producers seem to think that if its not in the area they are safe or they have succumbed to pressure from lorry drivers saying no-one else is bothering any more, making it seem pointless to carry on. Of course it is pointless for one farm in an area to make a stand, when others are taking risks – as all stock could be taken out if the virus is found.

But producers around Settle, Clitheroe and Somerset didnt think the disease would come to them either. As Farmer Focus contributor John Stanley puts it: "Why have we dropped our guard?"

One milking machine specialist in this update suggests that bio-security on dairy farms is generally poor, so perhaps it would be better to make disease precaution practices permanent anyway. With the ongoing F&M crisis, surely its an investment worth considering.

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