Saturday, September 08, 2007


A ban on livestock movements around Britain has now been lifted after last month’s outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Surrey. The strain of the disease was similar to a strain found in a laboratory, however it is still not clear which of the two research laboratories in nearby Pirbright the disease originated from. It is thought the outbreak of the disease was probably caused by a combination of heavy rain, leaking drains and building work taking place at the research facilities. The Health and Safety Executive believe that waste water containing live virus leaked out of drains contaminating the soil, which in turn contaminated wheels of vehicles travelling from Pirbright to nearby farms.

Experts are now satisfied that the disease has been eradicated from Britain.
Unfortunately this is no consolation to the farmers affected by the outbreak. At the height of the crisis, lifestock movements were restricted around Britain and hundreds of animals culled, costing farmers millions of pounds. The Farmers Union condemned the laboratory leak and stressed systems must be put in place to ensure that something like this never happens again.


Dirty Butter said...

In the US the farmers would be suing the laboratory that is found to be the source. Will that happen in England? Or will the government give any kind of aid to the effected farmers?

Sheila said...

It's so sad to see how these outbreaks devast. How unfortunate it was that the disease came from a lab!

Palm Springs Savant said...

WHEW! glad to hear it.

Naomi said...

The farmers here are going to be suing the laboratory Rosemary. It remains to be seen whether any compensation will be forthcoming. The government has given compensation in the past which is funded by us (the taxpayers) but in this case they are saying that the burden of responsibility falls squarely on the lab.

Yes it was unfortunate Sheila. They knew right away the strain had come from a lab when they ran some tests. That strain isn't usually seen in normal conditions.

Yes Rick I'm glad to hear Britain is finally free of Foot and Mouth disease too