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DAFF General Press Release 11 August 2007 11 August 2007

Yesterday evening the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer announced that she is increasingly confident that foot and mouth disease has not spread beyond the control zones in Surrey. There is still the possibility of further cases within the zones and continued vigilance and high biosecurity are needed to be maintained.

Agriculture Minister, Phil Gawne announced this morning “In light of this welcome news, my Chief Veterinary Officer, Eamon O’Donnell and his Animal Health Team have advised me that it is reasonable and proportionate to roll back some more of our current control measures.”

“Events such as fetes, horse shows, motocross etc that can be held in small controlled areas with meaningful disinfection measures can now be sanctioned. I would ask organisers to contact the Animal Health Division on 685844 for advice and to have their plans approved.”

The moratorium on events involving susceptible livestock remains in place. The use of grazing land will only be sanctioned where there is agreement for the land to be empty of livestock for 1 week before, the duration of and 2 weeks after the event.

Despite this further relaxation of controls the Minister asked farmers to remain vigilant. “Farmers have a very important role to play in ensuring that we keep this disease out of the Island and limit the chance of it spreading were it to get here. Less than a week has passed since the first outbreak so I strongly urge all farmers to comply with the biosecurity advice they should all by now have received from the Department.”

The Minister added: “I would like to thank everyone concerned – from all sections of our community – for their efforts and co-operation so far to protect the Manx countryside from the devastation of Foot and Mouth.”

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