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John Kinnaird of the Scottish NFU
"Any new outbreaks are obviously concerning"
 real 28k

Louise Batchelor reports
"A very serious outbreak of infection"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Vigilance plea after new cases
Sheep behind a gate
More than 2,000 sheep and lambs will be killed

Scottish farmers have been urged to continue checking for signs of foot-and-mouth among their herds and flocks after new cases were confirmed in the Borders and Dumfriesshire.

The outbreak at Bridge End Farm at Eastriggs near Annan is the first in Dumfries and Galloway for 10 days.

All 135 cattle will be slaughtered and burned on site.

It follows confirmation of a case near Duns in the Scottish Borders on Tuesday, which was the first case in that region for four weeks.

Every vehicle, every person and every animal is a potential carrier

John Kinnaird, NFUS
The total number of cases in Scotland now stands at 185, with all but 10 in the south west.

John Kinnaird, deputy president of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland, said "every precaution possible" was needed to stamp the disease out.

An emergency co-ordination group has been set up to make plans for tackling the latest Borders foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The case was confirmed on Tuesday at Cothill Farm, near Duns, in Berwickshire, a month after the last previous case in the area.

Natural firebreak

Local farmers leaders, who said they were devastated at the news, have called for vets to explain how the disease has appeared to "jump" from farm to farm.

The last previous case near Duns was confirmed at Rulesmains on 25 April.

A spokesman for Borders Council said it was hoped that arable land around the infected farm would act as a natural firebreak against any further spread of the disease.

Some 800 sheep and 1,500 lambs are to be slaughtered at various locations in the Greenlaw area, all of which are premises operated by the same farmer.

Sheep on two neighbouring farms will also be culled, but there will not be an automatic cull in a 3km zone.

Military personnel will not be involved but that decision could come under review if there are further cases.

The council said that, because of fears expressed elsewhere over public health, the animals are to be taken for rendering in sealed vehicles.

Army personnel unloading equipment
Army personnel may be called in
Access restrictions in certain areas of Berwickshire will also have to be reviewed.

Mr Kinnaird said the disease appeared to have "gone off the front pages in recent weeks" but it was still a major issue.

He said: "Everyone's very, very worried, the general advice has to be as it's always been, and that is redouble the efforts.

"This is an invisible disease, you cannot see it in the incubation period, it doesn't show itself and even in sheep it is very difficult to spot.

"So keep the bio-security measures in place. Every vehicle, every person and every animal is a potential carrier."

Yorkshire cluster

More than half of all farms in Dumfries and Galloway are believed to have been affected by a mass cull which has been taking place to get rid of the disease.

Council and enterprise bosses in the region fear that tourism and agriculture have been devastated and have appealed for help from the Scottish Executive to revive the economy.

The new cases follow the discovery of a cluster of 18 cases at Settle in North Yorkshire.

Movement restrictions have been tightened in Yorkshire amid fears that sheep which have been harbouring the disease are infecting cattle which have been released for pasture.

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See also:

23 Apr 01 | Health
Human foot-and-mouth: The history
22 May 01 | Scotland
Disease blow for Berwickshire
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