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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 03:06 GMT 04:06 UK
Foot-and-mouth cull in Somerset
Sheep are slaughtered on a farm near Settle, North Yorkshire
Slaughter also continues in hotspots such as Settle
A precautionary cull of livestock has taken place on a farm in Somerset after an animal showed possible symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease.

A Ministry of Agriculture spokeswoman said a small cull was undertaken on a farm between Bridgwater and Taunton on Thursday night.

But she stressed that the disease had not been confirmed at the farm. There have only been four cases confirmed in Somerset since the outbreak began.

Meanwhile visitors to the worst affected county, Cumbria, will be allowed back onto some Lakeland fells from the weekend, in an attempt to salvage the area's tourist industry.

Four new cases of the disease were confirmed on Friday.

Restricted routes

From Saturday certain footpaths leading to the high Cumbrian fells will be re-opened.

Foot-and-mouth facts
Total number of confirmed foot-and-mouth cases in the UK 1,718
Four on Friday
3,241,000 animals slaughtered
40,000 animals awaiting slaughter
11,000 carcasses awaiting disposal
There will be limited access, dogs will be banned and walkers will have to scrub their boots in disinfectant.

The decision has been made by the Cumbrian Foot-and-Mouth Task Force.

Walkers will be limited to 26 manned access points. The fells they will be able to climb include Scafell, Helvellyn and the Langdale Pikes.

Maps will be in place to show them the routes they are allowed to follow.

Cumbria County Council says the aim is to help local businesses while keeping the risk of infection to a minimum.


Chris Collier, chief executive of Cumbria Tourist Board, said: "It was the closure of the footpaths which caused the biggest impact on the tourism industry and we are delighted to see so many of the fells open again."

Some Cumbrian fell paths are to reopen
The Lake District National Park officer, Paul Tiplady, said: "Walkers and visitors must be clear that access is still limited, the published guidelines must be followed and that the situation can change.

"With the public's continued support and co-operation we all hope that foot-and-mouth will be completely eradicated and all the fells be re-opened sooner rather than later."

Much of the land involved is owned by the National Trust, which has been keen to protect its tenant farmers' flocks from foot-and-mouth.

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