New cases spark fresh virus fears

2 July 2001

New cases spark fresh virus fears

By FWi staff

CONCERNS are growing that foot-and-mouth is on the rise once again after more cases were reported in Yorkshire and Wales.

A case of foot-and-mouth has been confirmed at Bridge House Farm, Silsden, West Yorkshire. It is the first outbreak in the area since 23 March.

Three other cases in North Yorkshire were also confirmed over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Farmers Union of Wales is worried by a cluster of foot-and-mouth cases discovered on farms near Brecon.

Four cases of the disease have been confirmed on farms at Libanus within the last week, the most recent being diagnosed on Saturday (30 June).

Before last week, no cases had been found in Wales for almost a month.

The National Assembly has so far failed to identify how the disease reached Libanus. It is also still unclear which farm first fell victim to the virus.

More than 5000 cattle and sheep have so far been slaughtered either because they have the disease or are on adjoining farms.

But the fear is that many thousands more may be affected if blood tests reveal that the virus has infected sheep on the Brecon Beacons.

“The FUW is extremely concerned by developments at Libanus,” said union President Bob Parry.

“It has been claimed that the virus may have been present in the area for several weeks before being discovered, which is worrying all the farmers.

“All we can do is pray that the virus has not spread any further than the immediate area surrounding Libanus.”

Mr Parry said the implications for farming and tourism would be “too dreadful to contemplate” if the disease had spread across the Brecon Beacons.


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