NFU President Ben Gill will hold further crisis talks with Agriculture Minister Nick Brown tomorrow to discuss the spread of foot and mouth disease.

They will talk about the grim implications of the news that the disease has spread to the South West of the country – an area saturated with livestock farmers.

Mr Gill said today: “The latest outbreak is obviously an enormous blow for the whole farming community. It will send a chill through farmers everywhere, not just in Devon.

“Our hopes that the disease could be contained – first in the Essex area and then in Northumberland – have been horribly shattered.

“But it vindicates the stringent action that was taken on Friday to stop animals moving off or onto any farm anywhere in Britain for the next seven days.

“We are now more determined than ever to maintain our vigilance and beat this disease.”

Mr Gill said he would be talking to the Minister again tomorrow on current problems being experienced on farm such as with the disposal of fallen stock.

He will say that while it is crucial to maintain the current ban on livestock movements, proper arrangements must be in place to cover every eventuality.

He said: “Farmers are already facing substantial losses as a result of this outbreak and we must ensure that the current measures do not unjustifiably cause even more losses.”

He added: “I am alarmed by a number of continuing complaints that I am receiving from farmers around the country of the intrusive approach of some journalists. I would once again implore journalists everywhere not to add to the crisis by trying to get close to and onto farms.

“They can spread the disease on their clothing, shoes and vehicles, just like the rest of us and are not exempt from the warning from Government to keep out of the countryside. Please, please stay away.”
Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this document, the NFU cannot accept liability for errors and omissions.  This information should not be regarded as constituting legal advice, and should therefore not be relied upon as such.  NFU©