UK: MAFF works flat out to tackle Swine Fever
MAFF staff are working all out to tackle the outbreak of Classical Swine Fever in East Anglia and lift the movement restrictions affecting farmers. Chief Veterinary Officer Jim Scudamore today told pig industry representatives he understood how important it was for farmers in restricted areas to be able to look forward and plan for the lifting of restrictions but that work on controlling the disease must come first. Mr Scudamore told a meeting of stakeholders in London: "It is a huge task and we must prioritise. We have already had help from official vets from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and private vets from the Netherlands. We are seeking additional specialist help from American and Dutch veterinary services and we are recruiting additional non-veterinary support staff locally. "We have developed plans for carrying out all the inspections, examinations and sampling which will be required before the Infected Area restrictions can be lifted. However, these will need to be revised in the light of the disease situation and we must guard against raising false expectations over the dates by which this can be accomplished. "As work progresses in each Infected Area, the expected date on which restrictions can be lifted should become more predictable and we should be to give guidance to farmers on likely timetables. However, any such guidance will need to be heavily qualified because disease problems could occur right up to the last minute." The meeting reviewed a number of positive developments which had emerged over the past fortnight:
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