Restrictions eased despite further disease

Farmers in parts of the UK will be able to move livestock from farm to farm from 3.30 today

, despite confirmation of yet another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) within the existing Egham protection zone in Surrey. This latest outbreak is the seventh since 3 August.

Defra has decided to split the UK into two risk zones. The risk area consists of Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Hertofrdshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Greater London.

The low risk area is the rest of England, Wales and Scotland. In England, farm to farm movements will be allowed also from 3.30 today under stringent conditions and subject to high levels of biosecurity with enforcement by local authorities.

Defra said it remains essential for animal keepers to practice the highest standards of biosecurity, remain vigilant for disease and report any suspicions immediately. Livestock owners should examine their livestock twice a day.

Another case of Bluetongue has also been confirmed in Suffolk, at the same farm as the first case. The two cattle have been culled but Defra is not classifying this as an outbreak unless further investigation demonstrates that disease is circulating between the local animal and midge populations.

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