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DAFF FMD Press Release 23 August 2007 24 August 2007

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is pleased to announce the lifting of remaining restrictions on the use of public footpaths from 8:00 a.m. on Friday 24th August.

Unfenced footpaths through agricultural land and areas of public ramblage in the countryside, which have stayed closed as a precaution against Foot and Mouth disease, will now re-open in line with a phased rolling back of controls in the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom. The re-opening of fenced footpaths was previously announced on August 8.

Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne MHK explained: ‘The United Kingdom is to lift the protection zones around the sites of the two Foot and Mouth outbreaks in Surrey at 12:00 on Friday, it being fifteen days since conclusion of primary cleansing and disinfection of those sites. ‘As there have been no further outbreaks of the disease in the meantime, we in the Isle of Man can now take a further step in our programme of rolling back Foot and Mouth restrictions.’

‘The European Commission has also recognised the impressive efforts made by the UK in containing Foot and Mouth disease, and is to publish a detailed decision, revising controls on UK exports, tomorrow. We will review our own controls on the importation of meat and livestock, once the details of this decision become available.’

The Minister concluded: ‘I am delighted that access to the beautiful Manx countryside has been fully restored after this short interruption, and would once again like to thank the public for their co-operation with the measures necessary to protect the Island from Foot and Mouth disease.’

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