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Farmer Clwyd Edwards
"We are on a common here, so if one animal gets it thousands will be culled"
 real 56k

Caerphilly MP and AM Ron Davies
"The big question is, how has it spread here and why has it broken out in the industrial valleys?"
 real 28k

Monday, 9 April, 2001, 06:19 GMT 07:19 UK
Disease spreads to the valleys
Sheep being transported
All livestock within a 3k radius must be killed
A case of foot-and-mouth in an area of south Wales previously unaffected has caused serious concern.

The case reported in sheep at Nelson near Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday is within the boundaries of Caerphilly County Borough Council - an area which has so far been free of the disease.


If the disease has a foothold in the common land of the industrial south east Wales, it is a huge, horrendous problem that we have

Ron Davies, MP and AM for Caerphilly

Local MP Ron Davies described the news as "very alarming".

Park Farm is the first location in the south Wales valleys to be hit - and the first in such a built-up and densely-populated area.

The farm straddles the border between Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil - a predominantly urban part of south Wales.

A row of bungalows lines the driveway to the farm, and 11 homes are now cordoned off behind a disinfectanted barrier.

Caerphilly MP and AM Ron Davies
Alarmed : Caerphilly MP and AM Ron Davies

Farmer Morton Jarrold keeps 130 cattle and 375 sheep and Welsh Assembly says the slaughter of animals began on Sunday.

All other livestock within a three kilometre radius has to be culled within 24 hours as a precaution, but it is believed only one other farm is within the exclusion range.

Ron Davies, the MP and AM for Caerphilly, spoke to the farm owner and extended his sympathy.

He told BBC Wales the urban location of the outbreak was a major cause for concern.

Crisis in Wales
Total confirmed cases UK-wide 1,109 - with 63 in Wales
Powys - 36 cases
Anglesey - 13 cases
Monmouthshire - 13 cases
Caerphilly - 1 case

"It is a very alarming development," he said.

"The farm is some distance away from other sites we have had in the south Wales area - probably 20 or 30 miles away from the sites in Monmouthshire and even further away from those in Powys.

"So there is a big question as to how it has spread here and why it has broken out in the industrial valleys."

Mr Davies said it was worrying that the farm was only a few miles away from common land linking to many other parts of the valleys - the Darren and Rhymney valleys on one side, the Aber and Taff valleys on another, and, northwards, the Merthyr valley and the Brecon Beacons.

Leaking truck

"If the disease has a foothold in the common land of the industrial south east Wales, it is a huge, horrendous problem that we have," he added.

In mid Wales, anger erupted following reports that a lorry delivering carcasses to the burial site at Epynt in Powys was leaking blood.

Farmers say the truck carrying the bodies of slaughtered sheep to the military range for disposal was driven from Welshpool, over the Sugar Loaf Mountain to Llandovery in the Towy Valley, and back towards Epynt.

The vehicle left a trail of blood, signs of which could still be seen at a layby on the A40 near Llandovery, despite efforts to clean it.

Safeguards

It is the second time within days that a carcass-carrying lorry has been reported leaking.

After the first incident last Thursday, council chiefs in Carmarthenshire - the county whose border is close to Epynt - demanded assurances that everything possible would be done to keep the county free from disease.

But on Sunday, Meryl Gravell, leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, demanded an inquiry into how the Epynt disposal operation was being controlled.

She said she was "shocked" at the news of the latest incident, and wanted an official inquiry.

It showed "a complete breach of assurances" that carcasses from infected areas would not be taken into Carmarthenshire.

In north Wales, MAFF officials are in the final stages of culling 40,000 animals on Anglesey.

No animals have been slaughtered over the weekend, but the operation is expected to continue on Monday.

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