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Saturday, 30 June, 2001, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
New worries as virus cluster grows
livestock cull
Thousands of animals in the area have been culled
Farmers in mid Wales are growing increasingly concerned following news that the foot-and-mouth cluster near Brecon in Powys is still growing.

Test results received on Saturday revealed that a fourth case has been diagnosed in the Libanus area.

Like those in the case revealed on Friday, animals at the latest farm had already been slaughtered as part of the cull which began when the first case in the area was confirmed last weekend.


This week's confirmed cases of the disease at Libanus, near Brecon, prove that we cannot let our guard down for one moment

Bob Parry, FUW president
The latest outbreak - again in sheep - takes the total number of cases in Wales to 96.

Powys has been the worst-hit area with a total of 60 cases so far.

The first case in the cluster was diagnosed last weekend - dashing hopes that Powys was beginning to recover, as a month had passed without any new cases.

More than 5,000 animals were slaughtered as part of a contiguous cull in the area to eliminate any dangerous contacts

All four farms where the disease has been identified are in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons - where up to 10,000 sheep graze on common land.

Crisis in Wales
Total confirmed cases in Wales - 96
Powys - 60 cases
Anglesey - 13 cases
Monmouthshire - 16 cases
Caerphilly 2
Rhondda Cynon Taff - 1
Neath Port Talbot -1
Newport - 3

There is concern that the virus may have transferred onto to the hills - where it would be difficult to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth.

Vets are continuing to check animals on farms in the area for signs of the disease.

They will also be investigating what contacts the farmer in this latest outbreak has had with other farms in Wales.

Pen-y-Fan, which is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, had reopened to the public just a week before the new outbreak and was immediately closed again after the cases were confirmed.

Meanwhile, The Farmers' Union of Wales has given its full backing to a campaign by the Welsh Assembly aimed at finally stamping out foot-and-mouth.

Foot-and-mouth across Britain
Total number of confirmed foot-and-mouth cases in the UK 1,800
3,428,000 animals slaughtered
13,000 animals awaiting slaughter
8,000 carcasses awaiting disposal
FUW President Bob Parry said: "This week's confirmed cases of the disease at Libanus, near Brecon, prove that we cannot let our guard down for one moment.

"I strongly urge all farmers, whether they live in infected or clean areas, to maintain a strict disinfectant regime and to take all sensible precautions.

"All visitors to the countryside should also follow official advice to ensure the disease does not spread any further.

Mr Parry was speaking at the launch of the assembly's "Stamp it Out" campaign, held at Pencoed Agricultural College, Bridgend, south Wales.

The campaign has been designed to reinforce the message among farmers and those visiting farms to continue to observe precautions - such as cleaning and disinfecting their clothes and vehicles - to help eradicate the disease.

Specially-designed posters will be made available recommending that visitors do not enter farms unless they have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected their vehicles, footwear, and workclothes.

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See also:

29 Jun 01 | Wales
Disease cluster grows
26 Jun 01 | Wales
Vets test for virus on Beacons
25 Jun 01 | Wales
Vets try to trace Beacons virus
22 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Foot-and-mouth: A moving target
23 Apr 01 | UK
Dioxins: What are they?
25 May 01 | Music
Farm Aid 'set for October'
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