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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK
100 days of foot-and-mouth
Cattle carcasses being burnt
More than 3 million animals have been slaughtered
Wednesday 30 May marked the 100th day since the first reported outbreak of the farm disease foot-and-mouth in the UK.

BBC News Online looks back at the key events in the spread of the disease and the battle to contain it.

19 February: An inspection at Cheale Meats abattoir, in Essex, shows "highly suspicious" signs of foot-and-mouth disease in 27 pigs.

21 February: The UK Government and European Commission ban all exports of live animals and animal products. The bans remain in place 100 days later.

Local councils begin closing footpaths and bridleways. The Ramblers' Association advises members to cancel or divert all walks crossing farmland.

Poster announcing footpath closure
Footpaths have been closed across the UK
23 February: The disease is confirmed at a farm in Northumberland, which investigators believe may be the initial source of the outbreak.

24 February: A total ban is placed on all livestock movements. This is gradually eased.

The mass slaughter of thousands of pigs and cattle on eight farms across England begins to try to wipe out the disease.

27 February: The disease is confirmed in Wales, after tests at an abattoir on Anglesey. Mount Snowdon is closed until May.

28 February: A sheep slaughtered at a farm in Meigh, south Armagh, becomes the first confirmed case in Northern Ireland.

1 March: The first cases of the disease in Scotland are confirmed at two farms in Dumfries and Galloway.
Punters watching racing through binoculars
Cheltenham was one of the sporting events called off

16 March A massive emergency slaughter scheme is announced, to cull up to one million animals across the UK.

17 March: The four-day St Patrick¿s Day festival in Dublin is cancelled, amid fears the disease could be introduced into the Republic of Ireland.

20 March: Pictures of piles of carcasses awaiting pyres hit the newspapers. The Army is called in to organise the logistics of livestock disposal.

Cheltenham Festival, highlight of the racing calendar, is postponed for a month.

24 March: The England and Ireland fixture in Dublin is one of several Six Nations rugby games to be postponed.

6 April: Estimates suggest the disease will cost the UK tourism industry £5bn by the end of the summer season.

1-8 April: Figures show 80,000 animals are being slaughtered each day as the outbreak peaks.

Girl dressed up for St Patrick's Day parade
St Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin also fell by the wayside
11 April: The disease is "flattening out", says the government's chief scientific adviser.

3 May: Prime Minister Tony Blair says the country is on the "home straight" in beating the disease.

17 May: First 24-hour period with no new cases of foot-and-mouth disease since the outbreak began.

28 May: The estimated compensation bill for farmers reaches £719 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

30 May: After 100 days, figures show the total number of confirmed cases in the UK has risen to 1,665.

More than 3 million animals have been slaughtered, and the number of premises with animals having been or due to be slaughtered is 7,763.

Cumbria is by far the worst-hit county, having had to slaughter more than 900,000 animals.

Foot and mouth : Gallery
Photos of the crisis




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