Foot-and-mouth contained, Defra claim

Foot-and-mouth is now unlikely to spread outside the controlled zone in Surrey, Defra has announced.

Fred Landeg, deputy chief veterinary officer, announced this afternoon that the disease has been contained and the risk of it spreading outside the risk area remains very low.

There are currently eight confirmed outbreaks in Surrey, all within the existing protection zones.

Landeg said: "Our detailed investigations indicate that they all derived from other infected premises within the zone. That is why we again stepped up our surveillance.

"The evidence indicates that spread is local. While the exact mechanism cannot be firmly established, it is most likely to be windborne or mechanical transmission.

"It remains the case that the outbreak is most likely to be confined to this small area in the south east of England , but our intensive surveillance work continues.

"That does not mean that we can become complacent about FMD in the rest of the country. Animal Keepers must continue to be vigilant in checking stock."

Meanwhile, Defra has confirmed that as of 5pm on 4 October, there were a total of 25 premises infected with bluetongue, all within the controlled zone.

Landeg said: "Current evidence gives a degree of confidence that the disease is currently contained within the Control Zone, and all current measures are focussed on ensuring this remains the case.

"However, these are still early days and I strongly urge farmers in the Protection and Control Zones to remain vigilant for signs of disease, and to report all new cases, so that we can monitor whether disease is spreading."

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