From: THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT
September 19 2007
The Scottish Government today announced its intention to allow movements of up to eight kilometres within farm businesses. However, the timing of this will depend on the completion of animal movement tracings from infected premises in Surrey.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead said:
"I fully share the frustration and anger of Scotland's farmers and I would like to thank them and the wider industry for their ongoing patience.
"Following previous relaxations I am keen to relax movements within farms as soon as I am able.
"But the number one priority must be to protect Scotland from this dreadful disease. We are at the early stages of this outbreak and it is constantly changing.
"The fifth infected premises was declared only yesterday and a further Temporary Control Zone has been announced in Solihull today.
"We have to ensure that tracings are completed before further movements can be allowed. We will move as quickly as we can but only when it is safe to do so.
"We were able to quickly roll back restrictions in August ahead of the rest of Great Britain ? but only on the basis of sound veterinary risk assessment. That is what we will continue to do ? for the sake of our farmers and this critically important industry.
"I am sure that every farmer would rather be safe than sorry. Once investigations are complete we will be in a position to consider further relaxations."
Work has today identified movements involving 72 cattle from three premises in Surrey to farms in three different parts of Scotland during the period between the ending of the previous restrictions and the recent outbreaks at Egham. A number of other tracings across Great Britain are causing concern.
Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne said:
"The situation is fluid and the information base is developing by the hour. We cannot take risks at this stage which will put the entire Scottish livestock industry in jeopardy."
Notes for News editors:
1. The Scottish Government Foot and Mouth helpline number is 08451 553366.
2. The weblink for information is: www.scotland.gov.uk/footandmouth
3. The Epidemiology Population Health and Infectious Disease Control (EPIC), is a unique Scottish science collaboration between university vet schools and research institutes in Scotland. Set up in 2006 with £2.5 million funding from the Scottish Government over five years, it seeks to develop new tools to track and control animal diseases.
Contact: Chris Holme 0131 244 2614 or 07810 507009