Foot and mouth crisis hits farming industry again

THE foot and mouth crisis has brought the farming industry in Somerset to a standstill again, just days after the country was declared disease-free.

THE foot and mouth crisis has brought the farming industry in Somerset to a standstill again, just days after the country was declared disease-free.

The latest outbreak in Surrey is thought to have come from the same strain which infected herds last month.

A national movement ban has been announced by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affaris (DEFRA), livestock markets have been shut and the European Union has banned exports.

Last month's outbreak had a huge effect on the farming industry and this one looks set to plunge agricultural businesses into further hardship.


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Sheila Franks, a dairy farmer at Firtree Farm in Wedmore, said: "It's the same as last time, everything has stopped. We started to sell some animals last week but now we can't sell anything.

"It's bad for everyone. Things had only just started to go back to normal. In time it will really affect us financially, because we can't make any money.

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"I wish they could find out where it's coming from and stop it going any further."

Cattle on farmland near Egham in Surrey were confirmed as infected on Wednesday and cattle and pigs at another farm nearby were also being slaughtered on suspicion of infection.

The August outbreak was blamed on faulty pipe work in the Pirbright complex, but this has now been repaired.

Experts at the Institute of Animal Health (IAH) in Pirbright are working to identify the strain and confirm any connection with the latest outbreak.

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