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Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Foot-and-mouth factfile

    How many cases in Wales?

  • 52 confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth:-

  • A sheep and cattle farm at Bodorgan, Ynys Mon, Anglesey
  • A farm and the Welsh Country Foods abattoir in Gaerwen, Anglesey.
  • Two farms in Llangristiolus, Anglesey.
  • A cattle and sheep farm at Felindre, Powys.
  • A cattle and sheep farm at Llanddaniel Fab, Anglesey.
  • A sheep farm at Painscastle, Powys.
  • Four farms at Llangaffo, Anglesey, affecting cattle and sheep.
  • Three cattle and sheep farms at Welshpool, Powys.
  • Two farms at Llanfair Caereinion, Powys.
  • A cattle and sheep farm in Llandrindod Wells, Powys.
  • Two farms at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, affecting sheep and cattle.
  • Two farms at Bulith Wells, Powys, affecting sheep, cattle and goats.
  • Four farms at Montgomery, Powys, affecting sheep and cattle.
  • An abattoir at Llanidloes, Powys, affecting cattle and sheep.
  • A sheep farm at Brynsiencyn, Anglesey.
  • A sheep farm at Hay Bluff, Monmouthshire.
  • A sheep and cattle farm at Clyro, Powys.
  • A sheep and cattle farm at Llanynys, Powys.
  • A farm at Penysir, Church Stoke, Powys.
  • A farm at Llanigon, Powys
  • A farm at Llangristiolus in Anglesey
  • A farm at Llandrindod Wells
  • A farm at Hope Mountain near Welshpool
  • A farm at Llangristiolus on Anglesey
  • A sheep and cattle farm at Grosmont, Monmouthshire
  • A sheep farm at Trewern, Powys
  • A sheep and cattle farm at Brooks, Welshpool, Powys
  • A farm at Welshpool, Powys
  • A farm at Meifod in Powys
  • Two farms at Raglan, Monmouthshire
  • A farm at Chepstow in Monmouthshire
  • A farm at Welshpool, Powys
  • A farm at Hay-on-Wye, Powys
  • There are also four suspected cases.

    What are exclusion zones?

  • Exclusion zones are areas cordoned off from public access, and are set up around the confirmed or suspected sites.
    Exclusion zone
    Maff notice declaring a farm an exclusion zone
  • Only Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (Maff) vets have the power to declare an exclusion zone.
  • In the case of suspected sites, exclusion zones measure five miles. People can only leave the site with special permission from a Maff vet.
  • In confirmed areas, the zone is a minimum of just over six miles, and entry to that area is strictly forbidden.
  • The Farmers' Union of Wales says its members have imposed their own exclusion zones in keeping children from school to minimise contact with the outside world.

    How many farmers are there in Wales?

  • According to figures from the National Assembly for Wales, there are around 31,700 farmers in Wales.
  • The total number of people employed in the industry is not known. The National Farmers' Union Cymru has said that as well as hired help, there are abattoir workers, butchers and hauliers.

      What is foot-and-mouth disease?
    • It is a highly-infectious viral disease that may even be transmitted through dust particles in the air and can prove fatal in pigs, cattle sheep and goats.
    • Infected animals' hooves and mouths become blistered causing lameness, increased salivation and loss of appetite. They rapidly lose weight and produce less milk.

      Can animals recover from it?

    • Yes. Foot-and-mouth is rarely fatal in adult animals, though young or already sick ones could be vulnerable.
    • There is a vaccine available which, although it has rarely been used in the European Union, is widely used in some other parts of the world. But there are various strains of the disease against which the vaccine would not be effective.

      A computerised image of the foot-and-mouth virus (Oxford University)

    • However, because of its highly contagious nature the virus causes serious production losses to farmers.
    • Vets in the UK believe the best way of stopping the spread of foot-and-mouth is to destroy any affected herd, incinerate the carcasses and isolate all affected farms inside a five-mile radius exclusion zone.

        What is being done to stop the spread?
      • Every councils across Wales has banned the public from footpaths and agricultural land.
      • Access to country parks, bridle paths, cycle and canal paths is forbidden. Anyone ignoring the notices can be fined up to 5,000.
      • The three National Parks in Wales - Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire - are urging the public to stay away.
      • All reservoirs sites managed by Welsh Water have closed to the public.
      • Many angling associations have suspended fishing indefinitely and hunts in Wales are operating a voluntary ban.
        Millennium Stadium
        The disease has thrown the Six Nations into chaos
      • The Six Nations international between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium was cancelled and is likely to be held on 29 April. League of Wales sides may face fixture backlogs, too. A seven day ban on all horseracing across the UK was introduced on Wednesday.

        When was the last epidemic in the UK?

      • The most recent outbreak in Britain was in 1981 on the Isle of Wight - when 200 cattle and 369 pigs were destroyed. But the last major epidemic was in 1967 and ended in the slaughter of 442,000 animals after more than 2,364 outbreaks were detected.

        Outbreak of 1967
        The outbreak of 1967

      • It cost the country an estimated 150m in slaughter costs and lost sales in 1967 and 1968. A total of 27m was paid out to farmers in compensation.
      • Farms had to be scrubbed with disinfectant twice a day and animals were not allowed on to the land for at least six months after the slaughter. The worst outbreaks were in Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire.

        Are humans in danger?

      • No. Doctors say there is no risk to human health.
      • During the 1967 epidemic one human was diagnosed as having caught the disease and one child was suspected of having it.
      • The disease should not be confused with the similarly-named, but completely different condition called hand, foot and mouth disease, which can infect and cause illness, particularly in children.

        What other countries have it?

      • Foot-and-mouth disease is endemic in many parts of the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.
      • It was thought to have been virtually eradicated in Europe where, until now, the most recent outbreak was in Greece last year.
      • North and central America, the Pacific nations and the Caribbean are free of the virus.

        What is the Welsh Assembly doing?

      • The assembly functions jointly with MAFF officials and there is no separation of powers.
      • The rural affairs department is holding daily briefings on day's developments on suspected cases.
      • The assembly will identify specific farms or abattoirs but only when a case of the disease is confirmed.

        Welsh Assembly emergency helplines:

      • 029 20825572
      • 029 20825578
      • 029 20825586

        Powys County Council helpline

      • 01597 826926

        Police incident room:

      • 01874 625684
      • 01874 625097

        Torfaen council 24-hour helpline:

      • 01495 762200

        Carmarthenshire foot-and-mouth hotline:

      • 01267 228732/3 (office hours)
      • 01267 7222288 (other hours)

        Pembrokeshire incident room:

      • 01437 764551 (Sunday only)
      • 01437 776480/1/2

      • University of Wales, Bangor, School of Agriculture and Forrest Science:

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