Foot and mouth restrictions lifted

SOMERSET farmers are breathing a sigh of relief after livestock markets began trading again after the foot and mouth crisis.

SOMERSET farmers are breathing a sigh of relief after livestock markets began trading again after the foot and mouth crisis.

Farmers have been unable to sell their animals for the past few weeks after outbreaks of the contagious disease were found in Surrey.

Farmers have been under house arrest since the cases were confirmed, which has led to a huge loss in business for the industry.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced livestock markets and shows could resume outside the surveillance zone in England and Wales, although disinfectant will still have to be used at such events.


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Despite the good news, the farming industry has been left reeling and it could take months for businesses to get back on their feet.

A spokesman for the National Farmers' Union said: "The cost to farmers has been huge because the livestock markets have been closed and they haven't made money for weeks.

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"It's affected all farmers because they've not been able to carry out normal trading. It has cost the industry a lot of money.

"The main impact will also be on the export market. In the South West alone around £1m a week was lost.

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