Foot and Mouth costs escalate

The Great Annual Two-Day Show, which is Britain’s biggest sale of breeding lambs, has been cancelled due to Foot and Mouth. Approximately 30,000 lambs were due to be sold at the auction in Hawes (in the Yorkshire Dales), with around £2 million expected to change hands.

However, since the latest outbreak at Egham in Surrey, livestock cannot be moved or traded, unless it is for slaughter.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website shows the 3km (1.8-mile) protection zone that has been set up around the infected farmland, with a 10km (6.2-mile) surveillance zone encircling it. Animals have been slaughtered at the farms.

It is the same strain of Foot and Mouth that was at the Pirbright laboratory site.

Peter Ainsworth, shadow secretary for the environment, food and rural affairs, said: ‘What remains an almost unbelievable stain on the government’s name is the fact that they seem to have been responsible through negligence for these outbreaks at Pirbright. As and when the dust settles there will be some very, very serious questions for the Government to answer.’

The cancellation of the Great Annual Two-Day Show will add to the total cost of the outbreak to farmers, which is estimated to be £10 million per day.