BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Saturday, 1 September, 2001, 22:00 GMT 23:00 UK
Disease exclusion zone extended
British army co-ordinates Northumberland cull
The exclusion zone has been extended
The exclusion zone around the latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Northumberland is being extended after a case was confirmed outside the cordon around Hexham.

Soldiers are co-ordinating the slaughter and disposal of foot-and-mouth infected livestock in the area.

Farmers' leaders have welcomed the cull, following confirmation of three more cases in the Hexham area on Friday, bringing the total to 16.

Teams of soldiers are working in pairs alongside government officials and field vets.

Disease statistics
Cases so far: 1,994
Animals slaughtered: 3,778,000
Awaiting slaughter: 15,000

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the "blue box" exclusion zone stretching from Hexham in Northumberland to Alston, Cumbria was 220 square miles (352 square kilometres).

It had previously been thought that it was 400 square miles (640 square kilometres).

But it had now been extended by 100 square miles (160 square kilometres) to the north, Defra added.

Army teams

This followed Friday's confirmation that Greyside Farm, a few miles outside of the zone, in Newbrough, near Hexham, had livestock which had contracted the virus.

Ten teams from the Royal Artillery are working with the Defra staff and farmers.

The first two-man team was sent to Stelling Farm in Stocksfield, near Corbridge, Northumberland.

The teams will need a 72-hour biosecurity break between working on infected premises and disinfecting points.


When you get foot-and-mouth, you get a flood of cases and you get a long tail

Defra Regional Operations Director, John Bradbury
This is one of 62 dangerous contact sites identified for culling in the wake of the 16 confirmed cases.

Culling has already taken place on 53 of the contact farms with the remaining nine sites being dealt with on Saturday.

On Sunday another five teams will be drafted in from Durham's Tyne Tees Regiment, Middlesbrough's 34 Signals Regiment (Volunteers) and Newcastle's Queen's Own Yeomanry.

A Defra spokesman said: "They [the soldiers] will be making sure that all problems that can arise are dealt with and ensuring contractors follow bio-security procedures."

Disappointing development

News of the fresh outbreak has come as a major blow to farmers after two days in which no new cases were reported in the county.

The Defra Regional Operations Director, John Bradbury, said: "Epidemiologists say that when you get foot-and-mouth, you get a flood of cases and you get a long tail.

"Hopefully the action we are taking will help eradicate the disease - when that will happen, I do not know."

The Newcastle Disease Emergency Control Centre said the outbreak meant 15,451 sheep and 2,556 cattle and 22 pigs in the Allendale area of Northumberland had had to be slaughtered and disposed of since Thursday of last week.

F-n-m restrictions
The army operation is underway

A further 1,108 cattle and 6.188 sheep had been culled and were awaiting disposal, and 1,938 cattle and 13,780 sheep were awaiting slaughter, he added.

Operation head Brigadier Andrew Farquar told BBC News: "It is extremely disappointing the disease has recurred in this area, and because of the pace of the recurrence Defra has asked for more manpower."

National Farmers' Union spokesman Rob Simpson, said: "The army proved their worth at the height of the epidemic with their totally unflappable attitude and ability to get the job done in a timely and well-managed fashion.

"We were very impressed with their professionalism."

Shadow Defra secretary Tim Yeo said: "The decision to bring in the army suggests that this outbreak is more serious than the government would admit.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jane Warr
"More than 15000 cattle have been slaughtered"


Analysis

Background

AUDIO VIDEO

CLICKABLE GUIDES

FORUM

INTERNET LINKS
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes