Foot-and-mouth test on Yorkshire farm proves negative

A A A

Preliminary tests for foot­and­mouth at a north Yorkshire farm have proved negative, although confirmation will not come for 96 hours.

Preliminary tests for foot-and-mouth at a north Yorkshire farm have proved negative, although confirmation will not come for 96 hours.

Authorities were alerted yesterday morning by a vet who had carried out checks on sheep at a farm in Hawnby near Thirsk and discovered two animals with suspect lesions in their mouths.

Samples were taken from the sheep for urgent testing at the Institute of Animal Health laboratory at Pirbright, Surrey, the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

A Defra spokesman added: "If it is a confirmed case we would declare the farm infected premises, slaughter all the animals then we would have to consider a contiguous cull. We would immediately face movement restrictions and export restrictions."

But it would be up to the EU's standing veterinary committee to decide if Britain would lose its disease free status, the spokesman said.

The two suspect sheep were slaughtered as a precaution and livestock movements in a five–mile radius around the suspect farm have been banned.

The sheep were examined yesterday as part of an inspection visit required by Defra when farms restock after foot-and-mouth.

The suspect farm originally had 145 cattle and 2,010 sheep but these were all destroyed last August when a neighbouring farm contracted foot-and-mouth.

The farm was later cleaned and disinfected and under the restocking process it received a number of animals which would have been inspected on a regular basis.

The spokesman said: "On the third weekly visit (yesterday morning) the vet found two animals with lesions in their mouths and a slightly raised temperature.

"There's a number of reasons why this could be the case, as a precaution we are doing laboratory tests on the lesions."

He said the farm had received 450 sheep from four different farms in north Yorkshire and officials were urgently checking these sources.

The foot-and-mouth crisis which began at Burnside Farm, at Heddon-on-the-Wall Northmuberland, in February last year, claimed the lives of about six million animals, cost farming more than £900 million and tourism a further £4.25 billion in England.

There were 2,030 confirmed cases of the disease in the UK and Northern Ireland and the last case was on September 30 last year.

Animal Welfare Minister Elliot Morley said: "We must take no chances with this very infectious disease. The Department thoroughly investigates all suspect cases, precautionary measures are put in place and we stand ready to take immediate action if the tests show positive.

"This suspect case underlines the need for farmers and vets to remain vigilant during the restocking period and during the lambing season, and to maintain high standards of biosecurity."

Officials from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs turned vehicles away from the farm, believed to be Mount Pleasant Farm, and neighbouring St Agnes Farm owned by J Garbutt Farms.

Several cars and a van blocked the entrance while Defra officials stood outside.

An official, who declined to be named, said the whole area had been sealed off as a precaution.

He said the farmer had not been seen all morning. The farm is situated about a mile from the tiny picturesque village of Hawnby.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee