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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Disease strikes again in Borders
Foot-and-mouth farm in the Borders
There have been 11 cases of the disease in the Borders
A Scottish Borders farm has tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease - almost a week after the last case in the region.

More than 100 animals will be slaughtered after the outbreak at Crunklaw Farm, near Duns, brought the total number of cases in the region to 11.

Confirmation of the outbreak came as farmers in Dumfries and Galloway, the worst-hit part of Scotland, prepared to start a clean-up operation.

I think that we could still see sporadic cases appearing for some time to come

Norman Winter, divisional veterinary manager
The new case at Duns, which was confirmed six days after the last outbreak in the Borders, took the total number of Scottish cases to 187.

The farm is within a 3km radius of two farms which have tested positive in the past month.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said on Wednesday that 24 cattle and 90 sheep would be slaughtered.

However, divisional veterinary manager Norman Winter said the outbreak appears to be diminishing, despite the latest case.

"I believe there may well be other cases of this nature which may now come to light," he said.

"Given that veterinary staff are making regular inspections in the area with farmers continuing to check their stock very regularly for signs of the disease, it seems possible that other suspect cases may be notified."

Vet with lamb
Vets have been keeping a close eye on farms
But he added: "I believe that the outbreak is under control and what we are experiencing now is very similar to the pattern of the last major outbreak in 1967/68, which lasted 120 days.

"I think that we could still see sporadic cases appearing for some time to come and I want to urge everyone, and farmers in particular, to maintain their high level of precaution in the meantime."

On Tuesday, a multi-agency task force from the region told First Minister Henry McLeish that 12m was needed as a first step to help the economic recovery in the Borders.

Meanwhile, hundreds of farms in Dumfries and Galloway are moving onto the clean up stage - 12 weeks after the first case was confirmed in the area.

It is expected to take about six months to disinfect around 500 farms, costing millions of pounds in the process.

Sporadic cases

With just two cases confirmed in Dumfries and Galloway in the past 18 days, it is hoped the worst of the epidemic is over in the region.

Officials have given a green light to start the clean up operation, but vets are warning farmers not to drop their guard as sporadic cases could still emerge.

Over the coming months around 750 workers from the council, specialist firms, vets and back-up staff will be involved.

Some farmers are being employed to work on their own farm under supervision.

Three weeks after cleansing and disinfecting has been completed, farms may be licensed to re-stock, and testing will continue to ensure the disease does not re-emerge.

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See also:

23 May 01 | Scotland
Vigilance plea after new cases
15 May 01 | Scotland
Joy as sanctuary gets reprieve
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