New foot-and-mouth outbreak hits Cumbria

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The Independent Online

Cumbria suffered yet another setback in its struggle against foot-and-mouth disease yesterday when a new case was diagnosed 12 miles outside the biosecurity zone in place around the county's previous hotspot.

A total of 320 sheep and 105 cattle from Low Bank House farm at Barbon, between Sedburgh and Kirkby Lonsdale, were slaughtered after the outbreak, detected by vets' routine surveillance of sheep. The disease's jump beyond the existing Penrith Spur hotspot left government vets baffled last night. Roads in the village of Barbon have been disinfected.

The diagnosis came as farmers across a large area of Cumbria were told to re-examine their biosecurity procedures after a new case was identified at Wath Farm in Newbiggin-on-Lune in the Lune Valley. It was within the zone but three miles from any other case.

That case created the immediate risk that the disease would spread southwards to Lancashire and Cheshire, which are currently free of foot-and-mouth. The Newbiggin outbreak is understood to have been caused by the movement of an infected vehicle.