FMD control zones lifted

Two temporary control zones, set up on the Hampshire-Wiltshire border and the Hampshire-Sussex border, have now been lifted following negative results of laboratory tests for Foot and Mouth Disease. The 3km zones were set up around the farms on Sunday and meant that no livestock could be moved. After Monday’s announcement confirming a seventh case of FMD, the results have been welcomed.

The news means that the disease has not spread beyond the borders of Surrey since the initial outbreak in August (the seventh outbreak confirmed on Monday happened within the current protection zone at Egham). Defra now says it believes the risk of FMD spreading to other parts of the UK is low. As of 3.30pm some movement restrictions placed upon livestock were removed, allowing farm-to-farm movement.

Restrictions still remain, however, in the risk area covering the counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Berkshire, Greater London, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex. Chief Vet Debbie Reynolds spoke this afternoon to confirm that weekend markets will not go ahead within these risk areas.

For further, up-to-the-minute information, visit the Defra website.