Two roads closed in animal disease zone

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The Independent Online

Two roads in Cumbria have been closed by government officials trying to halt the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, the second time such action has been taken in the eight months since the disease was identified in the county.

Two roads in Cumbria have been closed by government officials trying to halt the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, the second time such action has been taken in the eight months since the disease was identified in the county.

The roads concerned are both minor routes linking the village of Little Asby with the Lune Valley between Tebay and Kirkby Stephen. They will be closed for two weeks. Only people who live in the few farms and houses along the roads, and those doing essential business, will be allowed to use the roads, and then only after their vehicles have been disinfected.

The move has come after two outbreaks of the disease on the edge of an area known as the Penrith Spur, where tens of thousands of animals have been culled over the past three months. Farmers there have been unable to sell or move stock since February. Government vets fear that the disease could spread south from the area towards the Lancashire border.

New regulations to fight foot-and-mouth come into effect from tomorrow. Under the rules, counties will be classified as "high risk", "at risk" or "disease-free". Counties considered high risk will be subjected to stricter controls, such as road closures.

Under the new controls, greater movement of livestock will be permitted, although tight controls will remain. Last week the Government announced a ban on transporting sheep out of Devon.

Scotland has been declared free of foot-and-mouth, and the last remaining restrictions have been lifted.

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