16 August 2001
Virus fears engulf west Wales
By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent
THE government has banned all livestock movements in west Wales amid renewed fears over foot-and-mouth disease.
Officials stopped issuing livestock movement licences to farmers in Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire on Thursday (16 August).
Without the licences, animals cannot be moved because of restrictions designed to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth.
It would be devastating if foot-and-mouth is found in south-west Wales, where there are thousands of livestock.
The area is one of only four in mainland Britain which has been designated as “provisionally free” from the disease.
The other three areas are on the south and east coasts of England, and most of Scotland.
The news broke as emergency talks continued about the possibility of vaccinating thousands of sheep in Wales.
Farmers leaders were summoned to meet Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones in Cardiff.
Some Brecon graziers fear the virus could be endemic on common land with 100,000 head of sheep.
Although the Farmers Union of Wales officially opposes vaccination, some members are privately in favour of jabs.
Members of the pro-vaccination National Foot and Mouth Group called for an end to culling during a three-hour meeting with government officials on Monday.
Spokeswoman Janet Bayley said a groundswell of opinion in favour of vaccination had been acknowledged at the highest level.
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