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DAFF Press Release 11 August 2007 11 August 2007

AGRICULTURE Minister Phil Gawne MHK says the Island must keep up its guard against Foot and Mouth despite the relaxation of restrictions locally and in the UK.

‘The Department’s recent advice – to allow the MGP to go ahead, for example, and to re-open some footpaths – was based entirely on sound scientific risk assessments by our professional staff,’ said Mr Gawne.

‘Equally, the restrictions and advice that remain in place are there for good scientific reasons and it is essential that these are respected by all visitors and residents, including farmers.’

The Minister explained: “We have three levels of biosecurity in place – port checks and disinfection, restricted access to the countryside by way of footpath closures, and strong biosecurity measures on farms.

‘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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