13 September 2007: Initial laboratory tests on the samples from the cattle on the holding in Surrey where disease was suspected have indicated the presence of Foot and Mouth Disease.  

On the basis of these initial laboratory results and clinical symptoms Debby Reynolds, UK Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), has confirmed Foot and Mouth Disease. The farm comprises a number of separate parcels of land and a single Protection Zone will be put in place which extends a 3 kilometres radius from each of them, and a Surveillance Zone of 10 kilometres radius beyond that. Footpaths will be closed in the Protection Zone.

The farm itself has been under restrictions since last night. This morning the decision to cull the cattle was taken on the suspicion of disease based on clinical signs, and an initial 10km Temporary Control Zone was put in place around the premises.

A movement ban of cattle, sheep, pigs and other ruminants has now been imposed in England and parallel arrangements are being made by the Scottish and Welsh administrations. No movements of susceptible animals are allowed except under licence. The licence conditions may vary between England, Scotland and Wales.

In England, controls are in place on movement of animal carcasses, animal gatherings, shearing and dipping are restricted, and all farms must increase levels of biosecurity. In both the Protection and Surveillance Zones, there will be requirements for increased levels of biosecurity on farms, movement controls, controls on transportation of dung/manure and treatment of animal products to ensure destruction of the FMD virus. Confirmation of the movements which will be permitted under licenses will be issued later today.

Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn, said:

“This is news that no one wanted to hear, least of all the farming industry. The immediate establishment of both a Protection Zone, with footpaths closed within it, and a national animal movement ban shows our determination to contain and eradicate this latest outbreak. Having spoken this morning to farming industry representatives, I know they share this view and the utmost vigilance is now needed from everyone.”

CVO Debby Reynolds said:

“At this stage we have not identified the strain or origin of this outbreak. The situation remains uncertain, and I urge all animal keepers to be vigilant for signs of disease, practice stringent biosecurity measures, including the movement ban and licensing conditions.”

All animals currently in transit should continue to their destination where they should remain in place.

The European Commission has been informed.Further information on the latest FMD situation, including interactive maps, can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/footandmouth/

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