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BBC Scotland's Willie Johnston reports
"The sheep went on first, then the cattle - a pathetic heap, topped by a ragged forest of stiff limbs"
 real 56k

Sunday, 4 March, 2001, 09:41 GMT
Animal incinerations start in Scotland
Funeral pyre at Lockerbie farm
Animal carcusses are burned to contain the disease
Funeral pyres have been lit on two border farms in Scotland to incinerate animals affected by the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The fires were lit at Netherplace Farm in Lockerbie and Parkhouse Farm in Canonbie after the disease was confirmed on both farms, according to Dumfries and Galloway Police.

Five more possible cases of foot-and-mouth disease are being investigated north of the Border, said the Scottish Executive.

In a statement it said the State Veterinary Service was investigating samples from farms at Polmont, Bo'ness, Galston, Gretna and a second site in Lockerbie.

There are currently four confirmed cases north of the border.

The executive announced, on Saturday morning, the disease had been found at a second farm in Canonbie, Dumfries and Galloway.

The total number of confirmed cases in the UK now stands at 52, but the cases in Scotland have so far been concentrated around the south west of the country.

Emergency meetings

As the crisis in the south west deepened, Dumfries and Galloway Council revealed its emergency committee was meeting every three hours.

Lockerbie farm hit by foot and mouth
The fires were expected to burn for 36 hours

The committee is now looking to bring in more specialist resources to handle the incineration and disposal of the thousands of carcasses over the next week.

On one farm alone at Irelandton, Twynholm, more than 3,500 sheep and 400 cattle must be slaughtered and the council is considering asking the executive to bring in the army to help out.

'Everyone must help'

Council chief executive Phil Jones said: "We have identified a considerable resource requirement to support the slaughter and incineration of animals."

The council is also planning a meeting on Monday with the local enterprise company in Dumfries to assess the economic impact on one of the most concentrated agricultural communities in the country.

Council convener Andrew Campbell, himself a dairy farmer at Castle Douglas, said : "We have thousands of farms that are clear and four in the region that have the virus which can be traced back to Longtown.

"Our local containment strategy appears to be working but we need the help of everyone."

The Executive introduced a licensing scheme on Saturday which will allow animals outside the 10-mile restriction radius at affected foot-and-mouth farms to be sent for slaughter.

The scheme, which will operate under strict conditions, mirrors the measures taken in England and Wales.

An Executive spokesman said: "Approvals will be issued as soon as possible, although it is not expected that there will be much movement of animals before Monday."

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See also:

02 Mar 01 | Scotland
Ban relaxed despite disease crisis
02 Mar 01 | Scotland
Scottish outbreak spreads
02 Mar 01 | Scotland
Foot-and-mouth spreads in Scotland
01 Mar 01 | Scotland
Slaughter of animals begins
01 Mar 01 | Scotland
Farm disease spreads to Scotland
01 Mar 01 | UK
Farm disease takes hold
01 Mar 01 | Scotland
Scotland's no-go zones
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