The UK’s foot and mouth epidemic shows little signs of easing up as the number
of confirmed infected sites rose to 326.
Farmers in areas worst hit by the disease urged the government to speed up
its programme of slaughtering and destroying sick animals. Farmers said that
piles of carcasses that are rotting in farmyards are increasing the risk of
spreading the disease.
Government plans to cull ‘healthy but high risk’ sheep in areas of the country
riddled with the disease have been met by strong opposition from farmers in
Chief veterinary officer, Jim Scudamore was given a slow hand clap by angry
farmers as he arrived in Carlisle for a meeting with local vets and representatives
of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) on Monday.
European agriculture ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the
latest situation with the disease. Portugal, Holland and Belgium are expected
to press for the vaccination of herds at risk, but it is likely that it will
back the UK’s attempts to deal with the outbreak. EU officials have so far ruled
out vaccination because it would be too costly, potentially ineffective and
have a long-lasting trade impact.
UK Agriculture Minister Nick Brown admitted yesterday that the foot and mouth
crisis is likely to continue for months.