Livestock ban in place over new foot-and-mouth scare

A A A

The spectre of foot-and-mouth returned to northern England yesterday when livestock movement was banned within an 8km (5 mile) area after two sheep showed symptoms of the disease.

The spectre of foot-and-mouth returned to northern England yesterday when livestock movement was banned within an 8km (5 mile) area after two sheep showed symptoms of the disease.

The rural affairs ministry, Defra, insisted that the discovery of mouth lesions among a flock of 400 sheep at a farm hit by the epidemic six months ago at Hawnby, near York, was not necessarily foot-and-mouth, though no such lesions have been discovered since the last case was detected in September.

Elliot Morley, the Animal Welfare minister, said: "We must take no chances with this very infectious disease. This suspect case underlines the need for farmers and vets to remain vigilant during the restocking period and lambing season."

The lesions were discovered by a vet involved in the foot-and-mouth clean-up, during a routine weekly inspection required by Defra when farms restock after the disease. The lesions could have been caused by rough food or by the infection on the farm, which was culled out in August.

In the five years before last year's epidemic, an average of 11 such discoveries were made each year. In those cases, roads were closed off while samples were examined at the Institute of Animal Health laboratory at Pirbright, Surrey. No foot-and-mouth resulted.

Last night, Defra sources suggested that no lesions had been discovered on the Hawnby sheep's feet, which is an encouraging sign, though laboratory tests may take anything between four and 96 hours to deliver results.

Farms in the north of England have been in a state of tension since Friday when a sheep at Kirby Stephen, in Cumbria, was found to be carrying foot-and-mouth antibodies. The sheep was the first in the county's "sentinel" herds – put out to graze for 28 days to test the ground before restocking commences – to have tested positive for antibodies, which indicate an animal may have been in contact with the infection.

Rumours that new cases are going undeclared by Defra have been rife across Cumbria in recent weeks. Defra said yesterday that the test results on the Cumbria sheep had proved negative for the disease.

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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003